Home buyer activity has slumped in the Palm Beach area, with prices also softening, according to research by PRDnationwide.
But PRDnationwide research analyst Robert Matta said there is cause for optimism about the housing market in Palm Beach in 2012.
“Evidence suggests the Palm Beach area house and unit market may have bottomed out, presenting many opportunities for savvy buyers looking to capitalise on reduced interest rates, government incentives, softened property values and favourable buying conditions,” he said.
Mr Matta said the research showed the house market outperformed the unit market, albeit marginally.
The median house price slipped by 7.7 per cent during the 12 months leading up to September 2011.
“The Palm Beach area registered a total of 178 house sales in the six months leading up to September 2011 - representing a substantial decrease of 29.4 per cent from the level of sales activity recorded in the corresponding September 2010 half year period,” he said.
“With that said, it is quite possible that sales activity has perhaps bottomed out in this most recent six month period, with optimism in the property market showing positive signs of stable recovery at least for the short term.”
The top three performing suburbs in the six months to September 2011 have been identified by PRDnationwide. These were Elanora (55 sales), Palm Beach (47) and Currumbin Waters (44).
“Buyers that are currently transacting in the market, whilst still in the hunt for a bargain, have perhaps increased their affordability thresholds enabling them to purchase properties in a higher price bracket, which in turn has implications for stabilising median price growth,” Mr Matta said.
The researcher said the Gold Coast market is once again proving to be a sound investment option for foreign property investors, with a substantial amount of investment deriving from participants of the Asia-Pacific.
“The relative political and economic soundness of Australia to that of Europe and the United States has encouraged foreign investors to bank their money in a more secure environment,” he said.