GC Property Report

WORDS: Steve Hunt, Media Hunt PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied

Local buyers have helped ensure the red-hot Gold Coast property market stays on the boil.

IT’S getting difficult to find a new narrative when it comes to what’s going on in the Gold Coast property market – it’s still simply red hot.

This almost defies logic when you consider almost half the nation has been back in lockdown, with the borders to Victoria and NSW slammed shut.

What we can tell you is that the ‘sight unseen’ madness that characterised the 2020 boom has pretty much ended. While that by no means indicates a slowdown in investment from interstate in the off-the-plan markets, it does suggest interstate prospects – as well-intentioned as they are to come to Queensland in the future – are happy to wait.

The latest Urbis quarterly data, which was released in late August, gave great insights into the true nature of the market for the June quarter. It showed that the interstate market represented just over 20 per cent of the 450 off-the-plan sales along the Gold Coast during the quarter.

One in five buyers is still very strong but what the data shows us is the resilience coming from the local market. The data showed that 56 per cent of all sales during the quarter were to owner-occupiers. That means the majority of off-the-plan buyers are downsizers – the majority of whom are predominantly from the Gold Coast or Brisbane.

So what does that tell us? To me, it says we have a very mature market – buyers have plenty of liquidity and many are taking advantage of the strong underlying market conditions and selling their existing homes to downsize. Australia has a growing ageing population of empty nesters whose kids have flown the coop. They are now downsizing into a raft of new apartment projects that are popping up along the length and breadth of the Gold Coast. The data also tells us something else. Beneath the glittering surface looms a desperate supply shortage if the luxury momentum fails to keep up with surging Gold Coast migration.

Urbis says there is just four months of apartment supply remaining on the Gold Coast at the current rate of sale. Thankfully, there are many developers gearing up to do just that, with a welcome injection of luxury pitched for prized sites across the region.

A lot of that new supply – either currently in market or in council awaiting approval – comes from highly credentialed interstate developers who have decided to join the party.

Two Melbourne companies spring to mind. The first is Hirsch and Faigen – a company with multi-billion-dollar assets in property, horse racing and wine. H & F, which dipped its toes in the water with its first project, Hemingway, at Palm Beach, has come to the Gold Coast with real intent. Hemingway sold out quickly, prompting the company to buy another site at Kirra, where it has just launched the luxurious Emerson, at Kirra. Unsurprisingly, sales are very strong. It has also secured a site at Mermaid Beach where it plans to lodge a development application for another luxury apartment tower.

Another Victorian company, Beckdev, associated with rich lister Max Beck and headed by son Ben, has secured the former Jazzland site in McLean Street, at Coolangatta. I can tell you that what they are planning is also something very spectacular.

Little Projects Co, which has links to former Toll boss Paul Little, has unveiled plans for a new Broadbeach apartment project offering just 29 full-floor and double-storey apartments. The project, headed by Leighton Pyke, is currently in council and will be marketed by Jayde Pezet of KM Sales and Marketing.

Sydney developers are the same. Sammut Group has turned Garfield Terrace, in southern Surfers Paradise, into a happy hunting ground with its first project north of the border after 30 years of developing luxury projects in Sydney, mainly in Cronulla. Its aptly named Coast project is half sold at an average price of $4.5 million with development approval pending.

Billionaire Harry Triguboff – the king of the Australian apartment sector – has also demonstrated his acute confidence in the Gold Coast with the purchase of another site in Surfers Paradise as Meriton completes its iconic Ocean tower.

Sydney-based Abadeen group has joined the migration north to embark on ‘Villea’ at Palm Beach after securing the site from Gold Coast developer Cru Collective. The residential project will deliver 69 apartments just 400m from the beachfront, boasting coastal opulence at its finest. It has been rushed into the market to meet demand.

These developers have joined a raft of local companies meeting the supply shortage of apartments. Yes, shortage! Based on the latest Urbis data and sales uptake of the past two quarters, we have an acute shortage.

The headliner of Palm Beach luxury, Sherpa Property Group, is carrying its prized ‘Perspective’ brand into two new projects at the northern and southern ends of the Coast. Plans have been lodged with council for Perspective Broadwater, a boutique collection of six full-floor residences which gaze across the Broadwater of Biggera Waters.

Concurrently, the company has unveiled its third luxury injection to Palm Beach, Perspective Nexus, which is set to deliver 34 spectacular residences perched between the Tallebudgera and Currumbin creeks, with spectacular views over the Currumbin Alley.

Marquee Development Partners is continuing its prolific spate of high-end residences with ‘Northshore’. Set at the northern end of Palm Beach, the luxurious residences will gaze upon Tallebudgera Creek, the Burleigh Headland and the Pacific Ocean. Its 93 apartments, which have been oversubscribed with 1600 inquiries, will be sold out soon. Marquee Development Partners witnessed its ‘Sol’ vanish from the market in a colossal sales rush that completely sold out the Kirra headland development without even launching.

Homecorp’s $150 million Eve Residences, set on the Broadwater’s ‘Golden Mile’, recorded a whopping $100 million in sales only a week after receiving the green light from Gold Coast City Council.

And it seems it’s not just the interstate population that’s cottoned on to the Gold Coast value. Aniko Group has welcomed $45 million worth of local owner-occupier interest to sell more than half of the available product in its first release at Athena, Hope Island, on the back of the stunning sellout of the $140 million 1 Grant Avenue.

The Gold Coast skyline is punctured by more and more cranes each day as sold-out developments climb to life, cementing a new era in luxury across the Coast. There’s no denying the Coast is strapped in for a heavy development agenda in the coming months.

Now it’s simply a matter of waiting to bear witness to the first glimmers of lifestyle opulence to grace the Gold Coast skyline.

Steve Hunt is a property and media expert with more than 30 years’ experience in the media industry. His firm, Media Hunt, is a leading PR and communications advisory consulting to the property industry in Queensland.