The Great South East

South East Queensland is set to continue as one of Australia’s most active development zones in 2017.

While there are question marks over the apartment sector in Brisbane, the feedback from many of our clients is that 2016 has seen strong demand for a range of residential product, including apartments.

What is most interesting in recent months is the flow of Sydney money into the residential sector, particularly on the Gold Coast. If we look back at the last two property cycles, the so-called “booms” have occurred when Sydney property prices have gone through the roof.

We only need to look at the median house price in Sydney of $995,000 against South East Queensland’s $577,000 (Brisbane $635,000, Gold Coast $560,000 and Sunshine Coast $535,000) to see that a significant disparity now exists between Sydney and SEQ.

And why not sell your Bankstown home for close to $1 million, buy for $600,000 on the Gold Coast and pocket the change? If you want an apartment you can buy for less – a brand new two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment at Cambridge Residences at Robina, for example, costs $395,000.

The big movers in South East Queensland are the land developers. The ASX-listed Villa World is experiencing very strong sales activity across its growing portfolio of projects. Having more than $500 million worth of projects in the Redlands area, Villa World is now turning its attention to high growth areas like Logan and the Gold Coast.

Next year Villa World will launch a 1000-lot subdivision at Killara in Logan, and is also in the final stages of planning to launch Arundel Springs on one of the last remaining englobo land sites on the Central Gold Coast.

Sekisui House’s $500 million Ecco Ripley residential estate west of Brisbane has experienced more than $41 million in sales across its project in 2016, as the company focuses its attention on delivering a new $1.5 billion Town Centre to service the Ripley Valley. Construction starts in early 2017.

Over 50s developer Halcyon is launching its seventh South East Queensland project, Halcyon Greens, on a site purchased off Mirvac at Pimpama earlier this year. Halcyon has almost sold out of its first stage prior to public release, such is the demand for over 50s residential product in this corner of the world.

While some apartment projects in Brisbane and the Gold Coast have struggled, others targeting the owner occupier sector have been very strong.

Boutique developer Mosaic continues to produce extraordinary results across its projects and is embarking on $20 million in projects on the Sunshine Coast in 2017.

Northcliffe Residences, an outstanding absolute beachfront apartment development at Surfers Paradise, has commenced construction with sales in excess of $60 million. The first buyer was a NZ couple who purchased the penthouse for $6 million. Sales in this project have been predominantly to owner occupiers or those looking to local and leave.

Local developer Rayjon Group’s $180 million Vantage project has sold so well to end users the developer is looking at launching the next stage, a tower, early next year on the site adjacent to Royal Pines Resort.

While some other Gold Coast projects have struggled, this will change. The supply of new apartments currently under construction is still relatively low. There is not a crane on every street corner and some of these projects will only proceed when demand improves.

Underpinning the Gold Coast is a very strong construction economy being driven by the Commonwealth Games in 2018, the second stage of the light rail between Griffith University and Helensvale, and the re-development of the casino.

Not to mention construction on the $1 billion Jewel project at Broadbeach, and plans to start work on the spectacular Spirit project on the former Iluka site at Surfers Paradise.

Added to this a robust tourism and education sector – both of which continue to strengthen.

There is much anticipation within the Ray White Surfers Paradise Group for another bumper auction with the annual ‘The Event’ being strongly subscribed for January.

“It is the prime time real estate time on the Gold Coast, that’s the reason why RWSP stages The Event each January,” RWSP CEO Andrew Bell said.

“During this peak summer holiday period we have an influx of visitors from across Australia and abroad, creating a much larger catchment of prospective buyers than usual.”

The Event is seen as a litmus test for the Gold Coast property market and indeed sets the tone for auctions nationwide.

So there you have it. A good year has come and gone. No booms, no busts – just good, strong, sustained growth that is good for all concerned.

Media Hunt would like to wish you a safe and happy Christmas and look forward to 2017, which we believe will be another strong one for the southeast corner and for Queensland in general.