Market Update – April 2014

The market continues to improve with more optimism amongst buyers and sales are more prolific in the $300,000 – $600,000 range. There are lower sales occurring in the range of $200,000 – $300,000 and fewer sales in the higher end range of $600,000 – $1 million.

Auctions are attracting a 85% clearance rate in the agency agreement period with approximately 30-35% selling on the day.

The demand for rental accommodation, in our area, has increased significantly with vacancy rates, particularly in our office, at an all time low.

The Gold Coast region extends right into our area and below is a report, in part, from Michael Matusik on our property market generally:

“ Shimmering like a beacon, the Gold Coast market has, for many, become bellwether regarding the health of the Queensland residential market.

So, how is its shimmer?

Some facts first: 

  • Need to build 5,000 new dwellings each year
  • Just 2,500 approved last year
  • Past oversupply now absorbed
  • Median lot size is now 455sqm
  • New detached housing development controlled by a limited few
  • 18,000 residential sales this financial year
  • Our forecast is for 22,000 sales during fiscal 2015
  • 56% moved within last 5 years
  • 18% from interstate & 16% from overseas
  • 1,200 vacant properties for rent
  • Vacancy rate is 1.4% but rising
  • 10,000 resales on market & falling
  • Rents rose between $10 & $20 – depending on product type – during 2013
  • $230,000 current median land price
  • $510,000 detached house
  • $375,000 attached dwelling

Some comments:

The Gold Coast has just entered a recovery – enquiry is increasing; so, too, is building activity & sales; return of price growth plus improving rents. In short, a more equal market.

This recovery is likely to be weaker than past ones. Employment growth, whilst occurring – which is a nice change for the Gold Coast – remains weak & housing affordability relatively low.

Low affordability is forcing many renters & owner-residents to accept more compact housing & within this, dwellings of smaller size i.e. with fewer bedrooms.

We anticipate the strongest residential demand for two & tight three-bedroom stock on the Gold Coast in coming years/decades. Therefore investors should consider buying compact housing over more traditional detached product.

As for timing – and all things being equal* – the Gold Coast should remain in the recovery phase of the cycle this calendar year; entering an upswing in the middle of next year & peaking in mid-2017.

Our work shows that almost all of the price & rental growth that takes place over the full property cycle takes place during its recovery & upswing.

So if you are looking at the Gold Coast as a place to buy a residential investment property, then this year is the time to do something. Some really good bargains are available.

At last, the Gold Coast, finally, has got a bit of a shine! “

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