After a prolonged slump, Queensland’s recovery is well under way.
The Brisbane market has recorded solid results over the past year, with growth of 6.4 per cent, according to RP Data.
This healthy increase is expected to continue into next year. SQM Research predicts that if rates remain unchanged and the economy stays steady, growth of four to seven per cent could be recorded over 2015.
Brisbane is tipped by some commentators to be the next city to boom. John McGrath from McGrath Estate Agents predicts Brisbane will ride a wave of growth over the coming year due to its relative affordability and lifestyle options.
Mr McGrath says while Queensland was hard hit by the GFC, the south east corner is now attracting attention from downsizers and investors from other states. The apartment markets in the CBD and New Farm are particularly popular in the investor market, he says.
This sentiment is reflected by a report from Place Advisory, which shows inner-city apartment markets are taking off. In the past 12 months, resales in Paddington have shown capital growth of 7.0 per cent while New Farm recorded 6.7 per cent and Red Hill 6.5 per cent.
Statistics show a surge in activity in the Brisbane and Gold Coast markets. According to RP Data, dwelling sales in Brisbane have increased by 14.8 per cent over the past financial year. Meanwhile, REIQ figures show sales in the Brisbane LGA are up by 19 per cent over the June quarter.
Coastal areas also seem to be picking up speed. Gold Coast house prices crept up by 3.0 per cent over the June quarter while Sunshine Coast prices are up by 0.2 per cent, according to the REIQ.
The Gold Coast has been the focus of a flurry of development activity, Colliers International reports. The real estate firm said developers were flocking to take advantage of low interest rates and increasing demand from Asia – the firm believes “cranes in the sky are likely to double”. Nonetheless, their research shows supply is reportedly at a 30-year low.
The suburb of Newtown in Toowoomba has also been highlighted as an area to watch. Mr McGrath says the suburb is an affordable hotspot attracting increasing numbers of young couples and families.
Buyers looking for an easy-going beach lifestyle in proximity to larger population centres should look at Currumbin. The suburb is close to Gold Coast Airport, the Pacific Highway, and northern NSW.
Currumbin is embodied by a unique mix of friendliness and exclusivity. A major attraction of the suburb is Elephant Rock, a natural stone wall that effectively encloses the surf beach. Due to its abundance of healthy lifestyle activities, it is no wonder that the suburb is proving to be very popular with old and young alike.
The best example of this can be seen in Currumbin Creek, a dynamic hub for water and land sports. The water is very clean and, thanks to the Gold Coast sun, it is warm enough for residents to swim throughout the year. Those more inclined to pursue energetic activities can row, paddleboard and even jet-ski along the creek’s 24-kilometre area.
Although some new high-rise development has taken place near Currumbin’s Pacific Parade area, most of the suburb’s properties are well-established subdivisions. Older generations who have lived in the same property for decades account for much of the area’s population. The long periods of time for which residents occupy these properties are testament to Currumbin’s superior lifestyle.
This trend, mixed with sustained interest from property investors has maintained consistently high property prices. Investors with an eye for restoration, and specifically, making a property stand out amongst other subdivisions, could be successful in this market.
If the quality of life is not enough for investors to consider this market, then they should consider factors like the development of neighbouring areas like Southport. This location looks set to become the Gold Coast’s main commercial hub within the next five to ten years, and is close to Currumbin.
The city professionals who will be attracted to this will create further competition in the Currumbin market.
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