SHARE THIS POST
IT’S the worst recession in 80 years but that hasn’t stopped Queenslanders raiding their life savings to secure their piece of paradise now.
Agents are bracing for a spring frenzy fuelled by pent-up demand, cheap money and record-low listings, which is expected to drive up property prices across the state.
Cashed-up interstate buyers are lining up for virtual property tours, while locals with money in the bank and on the hunt for a lifestyle change are hot on their heels, no longer prepared to wait out the pandemic to swoop.
A volatile sharemarket. measly savings rates and international travel bans are prompting households to take their money out of shares and banks and instead throw it into lifestyle properties.
“I think this might be the new norm,” Place Kangaroo Point agent Simon Caulfield said. “It makes sense economically, and from a lifestyle perspective. If you do the maths on $4 million and buy a property with it versus having the money in the stock market or getting a 1 per cent return from having it in the bank, you might as well buy something nice that you can also live in and get further enjoyment from.”
The latest figures from SQM Research, reveal property listings in Brisbane are down nearly 10 per cent compared with the same time last year, putting sellers firmly in the box seat this spring season.
Real Estate Institute of Queensland figures reveal the suburbs across the state where property prices have increased in the past 12 months and show a clear trend towards coastal and regional locations.
REIQ chief executive Antonia Mercorella said properties on the Gold and Sunshine coasts were being snapped up, driving prices higher.
Ms Mercorella said house prices had jumped more than 33 per cent in Labrador and 25 per cent in Surfers Paradise.
“We’re seeing more and more southerners buying these properties, and in some cases, sight unseen, and extraordinarily, these are multimillion-dollar properties,” she said. “Since the pandemic has hit, I think we’re all taking another look at what we want out of life – we’re reassessing our priorities.”
Ms Mercorella said interest from NSW and Victoria was being driven by Queensland’s affordability and liveability.
“People are really wanting to move to Queensland, where the pace of life is different, the mortgage is not as big and you can live by the water for a fraction of what it would cost in Sydney or Melbourne,” she said.
Gold Coast agent Alex Phillis of Alex Phillis Luxury Real Estate said spring selling season had started early and would last until Christmas.
“I’ve just done my fourth FaceTime tour this week of luxury homes to Melbourne buyers,” Mr Phillis said. “It’s been insane. Things have changed from: ‘I want to buy something in spring’ to ‘I need to buy something, now’.”
Mr Phillis said sellers were regaining confidence and were in a good position to attract higher offers due to competition among buyers.
“(Buyers are) going to pay above market right now, which is really good for the Gold Coast. I think we’ll see an increase of between 3 and 6 per cent – in some cases it will be 10 per cent,” he said. “People who had money in investments and the bank are getting out of that because COVID has made them realise you don’t know when your time is up, so you might as well enjoy it.”
Buyer’s agent and Cohen Handler boss Jordan Navybox said he was expecting a “frenzy of buyers” this spring, especially on the Gold Coast.
“Interstate buyers are renting houses here, putting pressure on the rental market and that’s already pushing up the prices of those (homes) that are on the market,” he said. “Properties sold (on the Gold Coast) in the past two months are categorically going up in price. It’s a joke at the moment.”
On the Sunshine Coast, Noosa, which had the highest price growth in the state for two consecutive quarters this year, shows no signs of slowing down this spring, recording 16 per cent annual growth.
Tom Offermann of Tom Offermann Real Estate said the local market had not been as busy since the late 1980s, with his agency notching up nine sales between $5 million and $10 million in the past month, many cash unconditional.
“A lot of people are buying sight unseen from Melbourne and Sydney,” he said.
Even as far as Bundaberg and Yeppoon, prices are rising.
Brisbane’s top growth suburb for houses is Balmoral, where prices are up more than 26 per cent, followed by fellow inner/middle ring Tennyson, Holland Park and Corinda.
REA Group’s Cameron Kusher said it was a good time for COVID-hit mortgage holders to sell as listings were low, demand was high and interest rates were very low.
When Andy and Ash Smith put their Gold Coast home on the market earlier this year, they never could have predicted what was around the corner.
They were in the process of selling their waterfront house at 15 King Charles Drive, Paradise Point, when COVID-19 turned everyone’s lives upside down, including their buyer.
The sale fell through, but six months on, they have relisted the property for spring selling season and could not be more confident.
Ms Smith said they needed more room for their boat.
“To be honest, my partner has a boat that doesn’t fit, so we need a bigger waterfront,” Ms Smith said. “We’re going to be using the boat a lot coming into summer.”
It’s not a bad problem to have.
Ms Smith said they would like to stay in the exclusive gated estate that is the Sovereign Islands.
Alex Phillis of Alex Phillis Luxury Real Estate said overseas and interstate buyer interest in Gold Coast lifestyle properties had surged since the pandemic.
Mr Phillis said the modern, four-bedroom, three-bathroom home was considered entry level for the “island” – luxurious, but at a cheaper price point than some of the mega homes there.
UNIT FEARS AS BUYERS SEARCHING FOR SPACE
Demand for inner-city apartments is tipped to wane as buyers prioritise space, affordability and lifestyle in a post-COVID world.
New figures from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland reveal remarkable price rises for units in Brisbane’s outer suburbs, bayside and the Gold and Sunshine coasts.
Median unit prices in Algester are nearly 50 per cent higher than they were 12 months ago, followed by Redbank Plains, with a more than 44 per cent increase.
Ormiston and Wynnum have recorded significant price gains, with the median unit price in Ormiston jumping from $340,000 to $485,000.
On the Gold Coast, demand for units in Burleigh Waters has pushed median unit prices up more than 37 per cent, while they are nearly 30 per cent higher in Bundall.
Pelican Waters on the Sunshine Coast is also proving popular among apartment buyers, with the median unit price increasing nearly 37 per cent to $575,000.
Industry experts say COVID-19 is likely to drive a city apartment exodus which would have a negative impact on the market for high-density inner-city apartments.
“We may be waiting an eternity before we see any meaningful increase in apartment values or rents,” Propertyology head of research Simon Pressley said.
“This asset class was increasingly problematic pre-COVID and now the future is uncertain for workers in hotels, restaurants and hospitality that normally service international visitors. Ditto, the airline industry and international students.
“Many of this demographic are part of the yolk of the egg, renting an inner-city apartment.”
Sources: The Courier Mail