Expert expresses concern as Gold Coast off the plan sales boom

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While off the plan sales on the Gold Coast seem to be building a head of steam, one real estate professional hopes buyers have done their due diligence before jumping in.

According to the latest Urbis Gold Coast Apartment Essentials report, sales of off the plan apartments in the region in 2015 have already outstripped the amount sold through all of 2014.

“The Gold Coast apartment market is continuing to break records in 2015 with sales in the first three quarters combined of 1041, overtaking the total yearly sales for 2014 of 825,” Urbis senior consultant Lynda Campbell said

“The latest report shows that sales this quarter increased by 253 compared to the corresponding quarter for 2014 which recorded a total of 163 sales – an increase of more than 150%,” Campbell said.

According to the report, work is set to start on more than another 2,000 apartments over the next six months, with Campbell claiming decreased affordability across capital cities is behind the increased number of sales.

While that may be the case, Paul Wilson, founder of Gold Coast based buyers' agency We Find Houses, is concerned some buyers may be getting in over their heads.

“I’m not saying it’s necessarily a good idea or a bad idea, but I just hope that people have weighed up all the pros and cons before they go ahead with it,” Wilson said.

“I think it needs to be made clear to people that conditions aren’t automatically going to mimic what’s happened in some areas over the last few years,” he said.

Wilson believes some investors from markets like Sydney and Melbourne may have been spurred on as they realised capital growth has helped them build up a solid amount of equity.

“They’ve seen the market they’re already in have this run and now they’ve realised that they’re sitting on all this equity.

“It’s sort of like when somebody wins money. People think it’s all this big win and they’re a bit more cavalier about how they use it even if that comes with more risk.”

Wilson also said he believes some buyers may be somewhat dazzled by the idea of an off the plan purchase.

“There are some inexperienced investors and also those looking for the easy way where they don’t have to use the services of professional to help them find a property that look at off the plan and think everything’s done for me and I’ll end up with a brand new property.

“There’s people here at the moment paying a premium for a new property because they’ve had a look around and say well there’s the Commonwealth Games and this that and ticks all the boxes so we’ll have a punt.”

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