The booming lifestyle property markets of Queensland’s Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and the Richmond-Tweed region of northern NSW are all set to pass the $1 million median price for detached houses by March, according to Australia’s largest real estate agency.
Ray White chief economist Nerida Conisbee said all three were star performers last year, with prices rising by between 35 per cent 47 per cent, and expected this momentum to be sustained in 2022.
She said key drivers included interstate migration from Sydney and Melbourne, a trend that would likely increase on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast after the Queensland border re-opened.
Work-from-home is also motivating land-locked residents in nearby Brisbane, who have traditionally owned holiday houses in all three regions, to take advantage of a vibrant market in the state capital and move permanently.
Ms Conisbee said the Gold Coast, the largest of these markets, was in the middle of fundamental change.
“There’s just a lot of people moving up there at the moment, and it’s no longer a boom-bust town,” Ms Conisbee said.
“Historically, it’s been up and down, a bit like Perth, but it’s grown and become more of a mixed economy, not so reliant on tourism, and is starting to show more stability with pricing.”
Passing the $1 million median
Citing CoreLogic figures to the end of November, she said the median detached home price had reached $939,000 on the Gold Coast; $956,000 in the Richmond-Tweed region, which includes Byron Bay; and $968,000 on the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane.
Based on average monthly price growth of 2 per cent, she expects all will exceed a $1 million median price for houses by March.
The comparable median in Sydney is $1.38 million, while Canberra breached the seven figure mark late last year, reaching $1.07 million, as did the Illawarra region, south of Sydney, where the median is now $1.01 million. Melbourne’s median is $980,000.
She said the coastal lifestyle markets and also Brisbane – where detached housing prices are still relatively affordable, with a December median of $695,000 – were strongly out-performing Sydney and Melbourne.
“We’re just seeing very, very different conditions in south-east Queensland at the moment,” Ms Conisbee said.
“Seller sentiment seems to be a little bit off in Sydney and Melbourne, but when we have a look at south-east Queensland, we see very elevated levels of listings.
“That suggests sellers are still very confident there are lots of buyers. At the end of last year we were seeing very high clearance rates and very high numbers of active bidders in the south-east Queensland market.”
A real test of market resilience will come next Sunday, January 23, when Ray White auctions 143 Gold Coast properties in a single day, Ms Conisbee said.
“That will give us a really good gauge of what’s happening with buyer activity.”