2017 has been one of the strongest years for the Sunshine Coast real estate market in recent times. With multimillion-dollar investments in health, aviation, education and business infrastructure and a resurgence of vibrant hospitality venues and a plethora of arts, culture and sporting events, it is little wonder the region is becoming a highly sought-after destination for people of all demographics. We spoke to industry experts about the year that was, and the year ahead.
Luke Carter – Harcourts Caloundra
The amount of stock we’ve had come onto the market in Caloundra and surrounds this year has been at an all-time low. Our recent market reports for our business show stock across all suburbs tightening anywhere between 15 and 30 per cent from 2016 to 2017 and sales volumes have dropped due to lack of supply. This is going to continue through 2018. For us, property enquiries are up 60 per cent on this time last year, and supply is down 30 per cent. This will continue well and truly over the next 12 months and it will be a seller’s market.
It’s been a long time since sellers have had time on their side on the Sunshine Coast market, which has been weak at best and in some areas retracting quite rapidly. But sellers now have the luxury of having a bit of time up their sleeve to test the market and wait to get a premium price, and it’s about time.
Jess Luthje – Maleny Realty
The market was very steady this year, with consistent sales over all price brackets and well-presented property selling quickly.
There were, however, lower numbers of sales due to a severe lack of stock.
I see continued strong sales activity and limited stock on the market into 2018.
There seems to be a real satisfaction with the area and people don’t want to leave in general, so we’re not seeing a lot of property come onto the market. Very low stock levels in the hinterland mean it’s a very good time to sell, as competition is high among buyers.
Property needing renovation is taking longer to sell and not achieving as much as it could if a simple renovation was carried out.
Buyers remain very savvy and although the demand is strong, they know where the value sits.
Jarrod McCarthy – Harcourts Buderim
Property sellers benefited from a general shortage of supply to the market this year, creating more competition for available properties. We saw more upward pressure on prices this year than previous years.
Practical family homes were the most in-demand property type of the year. Mostly four-bedroom homes that offered yard space for kids and pets.
The various factors that are driving demand at present look set to continue through to next year.
Major infrastructure projects, a growing local economy and lifestyle factors will continue to drive people to the Sunshine Coast and I believe the growth we’ve experienced in 2017 will continue to trend at a similar rate in 2018.
Despite an increase in Coast prices, there is still a major disparity between local prices and current values in major capital cities. This has driven greater investor enquiry.
With a range of new residential developments opening over the coming years, the supply to market should sufficiently curb price growth to remain in reach of local first-home buyers.
Karen Jones – Next Property Group
I have found 2017 to be a very buoyant year and we are now starting to see a serious amount of buyer interest from the southern states.
Suburbs where there is infrastructure being added has been in high demand, like Wurtulla, Birtinya and Bokarina.
We are now also seeing our prime positions being targeted. Beachfront, waterfront and prestige acreage and apartments.
Demand was very much determined by what price range and location the house was in. I believe the demand is currently outstripping supply.
I experienced an increase in demand as the year went on and this has had a positive impact on the prices.
The number one question at dinner parties at present? Do I hold, or do I sell?
We are really more global now than ever before and we do have to keep that in the background when predicting the market. And the other consideration is interest rates.
If there is mortgage stress, this will obviously impact the market negatively as well. If all above conditions stay unchanged, I feel the market will keep moving in a positive direction for 2018.
Tim Burrough – RE/MAX Coast and Country
We have seen solid growth in the housing market of three to five per cent in the Blackall Range towns of Montville to Mapleton and surrounding suburbs.
We have seen very strong house sales but have had virtually no unit stock. In fact, I can’t say I’ve seen one. There have been vacant land sales though.
Mid-range properties $500,000-plus have been bought by 50 per cent local buyers from the Range, 25 per cent Brisbane buyers and then elsewhere, including the coastal strip.
Top end up here is probably $750,000 and above and is 50 per cent Brisbane, 10 per cent Sunshine Coastal, 10 per cent Range residents, the rest of Queensland 20 per cent and 10 per cent from NSW.
For 2018, I see steady growth pushed by the Brisbane and Sydney city Baby Boomer demographic, who are tree changing to lower priced and lifestyle areas.
Selling now provides certainty to lock in current capital gains. Best bet is it goes up for two years yet, however stranger things have happened in market cycles, so nobody can rule out a stalled market or price falls next year.
Gordon Macdonald – The Auction Group
I’m fortunate enough to spend time in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland either calling auctions or coaching real estate agents. The hype around the Sunshine Coast from our southern counterparts is quite remarkable. For the last half of 2017 Noosa has seen unprecedented turnover in the three million-plus price range. In terms of registered bidders, active bidding, crowd sizes, Noosa auctions have had the same characteristics of an inner-city Sydney or Melbourne auction.
For next year, I’m seeing record volume of auction bookings for January and February already. These sellers are looking to capitalise on the current ‘mood’ of the market. Some suburbs will outperform others, just like 2017.
Overall, I’m seeing no tangible evidence of things slowing down, however as the southern capitals continue to cool, could this stem the flow of southern migration and investment?
Investment in infrastructure is propelling the Sunshine Coast not only nationally but internationally.
Fundamentally we are very solid and I’m quite excited for the forecast over the next few decades.
Vanessa Brunton – First National Carolans
The property market is tracking very well. I see more and more people moving here from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, all wanting a slice of Sunshine Coast paradise.
I feel we’ll enjoy terrific growth in the future, more and more savvy buyers are securing a block greater than 600m2 putting on the second dwelling and then teenagers or extended family are moving in, or they are being rented out for a great passive income.
New units are selling faster around Nambour than I can list them, particularly with first-home buyers taking advantage of the generous grants.
I’m seeing more tree changers to the hinterland areas such as Dulong, Kureelpa and Mapleton, all wanting an acre or two so they can get away from the high density living that is ever increasing and still be close to essential services.
I feel sellers will miss the opportunity if they don’t get in now. Compromise is sometimes required and location is key.
Selling and buying in the same market is always best, great opportunities present themselves every day, whatever the market conditions.
Ross Cattle – Define Property
There is no doubt that 2017 was a great year for the Sunshine Coast property market. It has proven to be a very consistent and stable year with good solid growth. This solid year is on the back of two consistent prior years and 2017 proves the Sunshine Coast has separated its market from other parts of south-east Queensland.
It’s always hard to say definitively what will happen in the future, even the immediate future, but looking at the lack of stock available to buyers and how cheap Sunshine Coast property is compared to every other part of Australia, I think there’s plenty of upside ahead in 2018. There is a very bright future on the Sunshine Coast and I believe if we can encourage more local employment for other industries besides construction and tourism, then we can really have a stable economy well into the future.
The Sunshine Coast is one of the best places to buy property for profit in 2018, for what the Sunshine Coast offers and its bang for buck we are as cheap as chips. The drive from New South Wales buyers alone will push property prices up in 2018, the key is buying the right place in the right position.