Sunshine Coast mayor slams Kochie for 'catastrophic' warning to property investors

TV personality and property pundit David Koch and his wife, Libby, have come under fire from the both the Sunshine Coast mayor and the Real Estate Institute of Queensland  for describing the local property market as “catastrophic”.

The Koches warned property investors to avoid both the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast as part of their forecasts for the year ahead.

Sunshine Coast Regional Council mayor Bob Abbot says what the local market needs is people to “settle and live here, not investors”.

"I like to think we are about mums, dads and their kids and being a place they want to stay and live," he told the Sunshine Coast Daily.

Lloyd Edwards, chairman of the Real Estate institute of Queensland coast branch and local Ray White agent, points out that some of the big-name Sunshine Coast residents include Therese Rein, prominent lawyer and the wife of former prime minister Kevin Rudd; British billionaire Richard Branson and leading Australian playwright David Williamson.

He also says recent building approvals could indicate a turnaround.

According to Sunshine Coast Regional Council figures, building approval figures rose 25% in November, while ABS figures show an 18% improvement.

“These are hard facts, reality – not just an opinion,” he says.

November ABS building approval figures show a 6.6% overall increase for Queensland with private sector house approvals up 10.8%.

Master Builders director of housing policy Paul Bidwell described the improvement as “positive news” but highlighted that the figures are just for one month, with the level of building activity across the state “generally remaining well below last year’s levels, which is why we have welcomed the extension to the state government’s building boost grant”.

“We’re anticipating conditions in the early part of 2012 will remain fairly tough, but providing the European economy holds steady and as more work comes into the market as a result of the extended stimulus, we are confident the worst is behind us and the recovery will really take hold during 2012,” Bidwell says.

 

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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