Caution for Gold Coast high rise property investment: Terry Ryder

Caution for Gold Coast high rise property investment: Terry Ryder
Caution for Gold Coast high rise property investment: Terry Ryder

Gold Coast City has been unchallenged for some time as the No.1 municipality in Australia for growth real estate markets, but that’s no longer the case.

The Sunshine Coast has overtaken Gold Coast City as the area with the most upwardly mobile markets.

The Gold Coast housing market remains strong, but the latest Hotspotting research for The Price Predictor Index finds that the number of suburbs with growing sales activity has decreased, while the Sunshine Coast precinct is rising.

The Sunshine Coast now ranks as the leading municipality in the nation in terms of the number of suburbs with growing sales activity (previous market leaders in the major cities, such as the Whitehorse LGA in Melbourne, have faded markedly in 2016).

The region has achieved national prominence on the back of major spending on infrastructure and urban renewal ventures – projects under way or in planning total well above $20 billion.

They’re headed by the $2.3 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital, which is the centrepiece of a $5 billion health precinct that’s evolving rapidly in the Kawana area.

And there’s a lot more happening. Over $1 billion is being spent on the Bruce Highway, around $400 million on the airport and several billion over time on the new Maroochydore CBD, where preliminary works are now under way. The Sunshine Coast University continues to expand.

A $2 billion light rail project is proposed but is unlikely to be delivered any time soon.

Real estate development includes several master-planned communities and apartment developments, as well as a $400 million expansion of the region’s biggest shopping centre, Sunshine Plaza. Youi Insurance is building its national headquarters on the Sunshine Coast. 

Nambour, one of the inland towns of the Sunshine Coast Region, is typical of the growth markets - with sales up from around 65 per quarter 18 months ago to above 100 per quarter in 2016.

The Sunshine Coast hasn’t always been a hotspot contender – in the past it has been included in my No Go Zones report because of a weak economy (over-reliant on tourism) and bouts of over-supply, leading to price decline. But the broadening the local economy through infrastructure spending and evolution of the medical precinct has been the critical game-changer.

The Gold Coast has been the hottest market among the municipalities of Australia for the past 18 months, but the trend suggests it’s winding down – it surged throughout 2015 and the early part of 2016, but the number of growth suburbs has dropped from 25 six months ago to 20 three months ago to 14 now.

Nevertheless, six of our National Top 30 Growth Star suburbs are in Gold Coast City and the bulk of them are inland housing markets – including Ashmore, Carrara, Nerang and Upper Coomera.

The Gold Coast may surge again, given the high level of spending on infrastructure, some of it associated with the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

I continue to urge caution about the Gold Coast high-rise apartment markets because of the alarming history of boom-bust scenarios, poor capital growth record and looming prospect of oversupply.

Anyone thinking of getting into the Surfers Paradise high-rise market should keep in mind that the median apartment price today is lower than it was a decade ago, such is the ongoing impact of regular doses of over-building.

Other Gold Coast high-rise suburbs have similar track records.

Terry Ryder is the founder of You can email him or follow him on Twitter.

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder is the founder of

Gold Coast Investment Risk

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