New apartment approvals surge Q1 2021

New apartment approvals surge Q1 2021

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  • Post published:May 30, 2021
  • Post category:News

Article originally published on Real Estate AU

New unit approvals were up 32.8 per cent over the first three months of the year as demand for luxury apartment living on the Coast surges.

In comparison, approvals for detached houses fell 2.9 per cent, coinciding with the March cut-off for the HomeBuilder grant, latest figures from Master Builders QLD and the Australian Bureau of Statistics show.

East Palm Beach is currently under construction, with the Coast’s southern beaches the destination of choice for many interstate seachangers.

Master Builders Gold Coast regional manager Adam Profke said total approvals for dwellings on the Coast were up 19.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, boding well for the region’s recovering construction industry.

In contrast, total approvals over the past year were down 1.2 per cent.

“In March approvals for detached houses began to moderate with the end of HomeBuilder and were down by four per cent across the state,” Mr Profke said.

“It is a different story for approvals for units which moved up another 50 per cent across QLD. The Sunshine Coast and Greater Brisbane have now joined the Gold Coast in the unit surge.”

The Swell development at Coolangatta comprises 24 boutique apartments.

The spike comes as developers rush to keep pace with demand, with the city claiming 26 per cent of apartment sales between $3 million and $5 million, a report by Knight Frank shows.

The report measured prime residential sales across three years, and put the Coast ahead of Brisbane, with 22 per cent, and Sydney’s 21 per cent.

Since January, 29 cranes have risen across Coast skylines, the RLB Crane Index shows.

Fast-tracked developments include: East Palm Beach; Elan by Mosaic and Swell, both at Coolangatta; Luna Apartments and Natura, both at Burleigh Heads; Perspective at Bilinga; Cannes at Surfers Paradise; and 1 Grant Avenue at Hope Island.

All eight full-floor units were snapped up off the plan at Burleigh’s luxury Luna Apartments.

Simon Worthington, of Kollosche, said developers were “scrambling” to secure sites, amid strong forward sales from interstate buyers and returning expats, as well as local downsizers trading larger homes for spacious apartments.

“The market is buoyant. People are missing out on existing stock so they are gravitating towards new projects, and that’s been Covid and migration-driven,” Mr Worthington said.

“People are exiting big cities to come to the Gold Coast and all this new stock will be absorbed. We’re inundated with demand — buyers are going from one project to the next to find what suits the most, and they are seeing value per square metre in what we’re selling compared to Sydney or Melbourne.”

Winten Property Group’s Belvedere tower is rising at Main Beach.


Winten Property Group QLD general manager Karl Rameau said the Sydney-based company’s new Belvedere project would add a mid-market option to the mix in development hotspot Main Beach, where nine new towers were proposed.

“All over the Coast now, I’m amazed at some of the projects that my friends are doing at the luxury price point, and the big sales being achieved. But with our projects we still offer a premium product but at an affordable price, and from this perspective the Gold Coast probably typifies the best example of people moving north for a better price, and for more space,” Mr Rameau said.

The proposed Cannes tower at Surfers Paradise has chalked up more than $40 million in unit sales ahead of construction.

Apartments within the 22-floor Belvedere tower span 120 to 190sq m, and cost between $749,000 and $1.85 million.

The established apartment market also strengthened, with unit prices on the Gold Coast up 5.5 per cent to a median of $433,500 in the first quarter, figures from the Real Estate Institute of QLD show.

Miami was the best-performing suburb for unit sales since December, with prices up 31.8 per cent to a median of $580,000 for the quarter