Gold Coast property sales are up by 25 percent

Gold Coast property sales are up by 25 per cent, the highest jump in the past four years.

Asian investors and a surge in tourism have helped to push house and unit sales up by 25 per cent to reach a level not seen in four years.

A new report by RP Data shows there were more than 18,000 property sales on the Gold Coast during the 12 months to May this year, a number which hasn’t been reached since 2010. That has coincided with a rise in house values of 7.3 per cent and 7 per cent for units for the year to June.

RP Data senior research analyst Cameron Kusher said growing demand was driving the strong sales, although they were still low when compared to historic levels.

“They are nowhere near where they were in 2001, 2003, but they are heading in the right direction,” he said.

“In most areas that’s translating into price growth. “More demand is having upwards pressure on property prices.”

He expected low mortgage rates and rising demand would see the market maintain its momentum “for some time yet”.

Ray White Surfers Paradise Group chief executive Andrew Bell said sales figures were bolstered by a surge in international tourism and strong Asian-based investment. “There is also no question that tourism has contributed to market activity,” Mr Bell said.

“We’ve had a great tourist season which has led to a lot of domestic and international visitors investing here. “In the past 12 months our office has sold more than 200 properties to Asian-based investors which shows the Gold Coast is firmly on their radar.”

Mr Bell said homeowners had been fearful to put their properties on the market in recent years. “The past five years represented one of the most sluggish periods in real estate for the Gold Coast for some time,” he said.

“That period, when market confidence was low, created five to six years’ worth of pent-up demand which we are seeing come through now the market has turned.”

A number of developments added to the strong sales figures including The Islands at Emerald Lakes and Riverlily at Robina.

However, the increase in sales appears to have slowed since May, with industry leaders reporting a “massive” stock shortage across the entire city.
Gold Coast property researcher Colleen Coyne said listings had dried up after an 18-month sales surge.

“Now that prices have started to improve, people have been given an incentive to hold on to their properties,” Ms Coyne said. “It has created a massive drop in listings.”

The Gold Coast outperformed other regional cities including Townsville where sales were 1 per cent lower over the last year and Cairns where sales were 15 per cent higher.

SOURCE:  Jack Houghton, Gold Coast Bulletin, 16 September, 2014

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