City Beat June 2023: Gold Coast apartments defy downturn, rebound sharply

City Beat June 2023: Gold Coast apartments defy downturn, rebound sharply
Joel Robinson June 1, 2023CITY BEAT

So much has been said about the Gold Coast apartment market ever since the start of the pandemic.

There was a COVID-induced spike as demand skyrocketed, part-driven by southern stage dwellers speeding up their retirement plans, and part professionals who realised they could still do their job and work from anywhere in the country.

The well-coined phrase, "what goes up, must come down", was banded around the Gold Coast market in particular.

While that has to happen to an extent, the Gold Coast unit market has held up as well as any other market in the country.

The June Home Value Index by property data analytics firm CoreLogic showed just a -3.1 per cent decline in unit values in the 12 months to June, helped by a 1.5 per cent rise in unit values across May.

It was another month where unit value growth outstripped houses. Houses grew by 0.9 per cent, and are -8.7 per cent down from this time last year.

The median unit value on the Gold Coast is now $664,000, compared to $987,000 for houses.

What's happening in the Gold Coast off the plan market?

Feedback from agents has been strong, given the tight supply and continue demand

Enquiry isn't necessarily growing, but quality of enquiry has improved dramatically over the last few months

Siera Group Founder and Managing Director Brent Thompson says the Gold Coast is continuing to show its market strength and appeal to the owner-occupier/ lifestyle purchasers, with the demand for high-quality, newly built residential dwellings being at the forefront of demand.

Siera is currently developing Tapestry, where almost 70 per cent of their current purchasers are owner-occupier couples with the intent of downsizing their family homes in preparation for their early retirement planning.

"Since the Easter holidays, we have experienced a large number of enquiries and sales from this demographic both local and outer state, with an influx of these leads continuing to come in with pre-construction preparation now underway on the site," Thompson says.

There's also another type of buyer that Thompson has seen recently.

"Quite commonly, we are also seeing a large majority of our investors state their intention of re-purposing the property as their future home in the next five to 10 years.

"A recent example of this was seen with our client and Nine News Weather Presenter, Garry Youngberry, who will initially purpose the property as an investment, before occupying it himself and living out his long-term plan of settling down on the Gold Coast and enjoying all that the South-East Queensland climate has to offer. "

Despite a slowdown in interstate buying activity from when COVID first started to lock down states in early 2020, S&S Projects Managing Director Paul Gedoun says he's still receiving significant enquiry from interstate buyers who are flocking to the Southern Gold Coast, enticed by its idyllic beachside lifestyle and abundant amenities.

"The allure of the Southern Gold Coast's pristine beaches, vibrant atmosphere, and recreational opportunities has captivated the attention of buyers," Gedoun says.

"This end of the coast has been able to maintain the true beach and surf culture that the Gold Coast was famous for and is drawing people from far and wide.

"We certainly witnessed that when we brought Flow, Awaken and Esprit to the market and have had the confidence to continue to acquire sites here.”

Steer Developments Founder and Managing Director Rob Steer says there's still a level of cautious optimism in buyers.

“Off the plan buyers want confidence," Steer, who is developing the high-end Palm Beach development, Cote, said.

"They are not going to commit to a 10 per cent deposit if they do not know the project is coming out of the ground.

"This is reflective of finished stock on the market. Good quality stock is still selling.

"Having a stable builder with a reputation that things are going to happen help the buyers confidence. There is a lot of money out there, but people are uncertain and hence being conservative."

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is the Editor in Chief at Urban.com.au, managing Urban's editorial team and creating the largest news cycle for the off the plan property market in the country. Joel has been writing about residential real estate for nearly a decade, following a degree in Business Management with a major in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University in England. He specializes in off the plan apartments, and has a particular interest in the development application process for new projects.

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