It’s Hot on The Sunshine Coast - March 2022
March 14, 2022 / Written by Rich Harvey
The first three months of this year have delivered some tough messages to all Aussies, including property owners and investors.
Floods on the east coast, potential fallout from the conflict overseas, uncertainty around the upcoming election, and worries about rising interest rates are events we’re all watching closely.
And while I stand with others in my concern, there is a silver lining that many years of experience in this industry has taught me.
We are entering a return-to-normal period in the national property market cycle. This means not all markets will perform in the same fashion – and there are ways to take advantage.
Unlike 2021, when almost every location and property type enjoyed capital gains, 2022 will be more selective. You’ll need to choose where you invest and what you invest in wisely.
And one region with great potential screaming loudly on my radar is the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
Defying the numbers
There are several reasons why I think that despite stellar growth over the past two years, real estate prices on the Sunshine Coast still have plenty of petrol in the tank.
The region extends from Noosa in the north to Caloundra in the south, and captures hinterland areas such as Beerwah, Maleny, Kenilworth and Eumundi.
It’s a heady mix of beautiful coastline, stunning mountain ranges, fertile farmland, quant villages and cosmopolitan hubs.
The Sunshine Coast has been a standout market over the last two years. New residents, driven by COVID and using remote work options to re-evaluate their choice of lifestyle locations, have flocked here.
And their demand for housing was huge. The latest Sunshine Coast numbers from SQM Data tell the tale:
A median of $829,000 for houses and $561,500 for units would have been unimaginable to most residents back in 2019. In fact, if you dig deeper into SQM’s data, it reveals that since January 2020, the median all-house asking price in the region has risen from $578,037 to $829,044. That’s a staggering 43 per cent increases in just over two years.
So why do I believe the gains are set to continue in one of the nation’s hottest regional markets? There are several reasons.
Attraction to the diverse lifestyle options on the Sunshine Coast isn’t going to change anytime soon. They’ve been bringing new residents to the region for decades and will continue to do so, in my opinion.
The pandemic and remote working have become entrenched. This gives people choice on where they live, and the Sunshine Coast will remain a magnet for these buyers and tenants. Whether you want an idyllic elevated hinterland home or a contemporary beachfront apartment close to cafés and retail, this region has it all.
Upgrades have helped deliver better services and facilities to Sunshine Coast residents already, but more is set to come.
The Sunshine Coast University Hospital in Birtinya (just north of Caloundra) revitalised the area. Meanwhile comprehensive upgrades to the Maroochydore Town Centre have ensured high-level cosmopolitan option are also on offer.
But I think some of the most exciting projects will be in the pipeline over the coming decade. With Southeast QLD heading toward the 2032 Olympic spotlight, the Sunshine Coast will be on the planners’ radars as they look to deliver fantastic facilities and transport options.
You can already see the level of investment rising. A drive through the Aura estate in South Caloundra demonstrates that demand for new homes near comprehensive facilities is riding high.
Luxe home activity
This region has seen some of the most impressive prestige property sales north of Byron Bay over the past two years.
Transactions such as the $17 million sale of 24 Box Street, Buderim, or Gina Rinehart’s $34 million Noosa beach house buy are setting new benchmarks.
Sunshine Beach near Noosa is recording more and more $10-million-plus transactions, while unit records at Noosa Heads itself keep tumbling. Given property markets are often led by the upper end, anyone who own real estate (regardless of value) should be filled with confidence.
Best of all, relatively affordable housing is still an option – particularly when compared to Sydney and Melbourne prices. For example, the median house price in Nambour is just $600,000, or you can head to Sippy Downs at $750,000 and be a bit closer to the beach.
Tight rental markets
Investors are also seeing the benefits of rising rents and tighter vacancies.
SQM numbers reveal the current vacancy rate is just 0.5 per cent. That’s unbelievably low for a regional with plenty of room to move. Asking rents have risen to $662 per week – a substantial increase of the $500 per week median from just two years ago. Tight rentals and rising rents are another beacon of rising property values.
Yes, the Sunshine Coast has seen some impressive results, but all metrics point to continued gains for years to come.
My advice is that if you’re considering a Sunshine Coast property purchase, don’t wait. Now is the time to act. You are set to enjoy all the benefits this lifestyle gem has to offer, plus sustained capital gains. Any delay could set you back, because it looks like it’s only going to get hotter on the Sunshine Coast.
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