The desire for new apartments seems to be strong across Queensland, with new research showing sales are booming on the Gold Coast.
Released by Urbis this week, the Gold Coast Apartment Essentials report has revealed that the first quarter of 2015 saw more new apartments sold on the Gold Coast than compared to any three-month period in the last five years.
According to the report, there were 311 new apartments sold on the Gold Coast over the 2015 March Quarter, a number significantly higher than the five-year quarterly average of 175.
According to the report, construction also increased over the quarter, with six new projects starting over the period while two sold out.
A total of 40 projects are now being monitored across the Gold Coast and Tweed Coast, up from 29 during the March 2014 quarter.
The Gold Coast Central Precinct reclaimed its position of best performing precinct with 127 sales after falling to second position during the previous quarter behind the Coastal Fringe Precinct.
The Coastal Fringe Precinct had its second highest sales rate in 18 months with 70 unconditional sales for the quarter.
Urbis senior consultant Lynda Campbell told the Australian Financial Review the sales figures have likely received a boost as prices drive buyers out of property markets such as Sydney and Melbourne.
“Affordability has a lot to do with it and I think the Gold Coast has been on the back burner for some time compared to other cities such as Sydney and even Brisbane,” Campbell told the AFR.
“We will start to see some price increases in the coming year as new projects are released in prime locations, which is likely to increase demand from overseas and interstate investors,” she said.
Rocket Property Group chief executive officer Ian Hosking Richards said the figures aren’t too much of a surprise considering the recent history of the area.
“The Gold Coast has always been a bit volatile, when it’s booming it’s booming abut when it slows down it can fall off a cliff,” Hosking Richards said.
“Since the last correction we had the Gold Coast has sort of just been sliding along and it’s about that time now where after four or five years you would expect to see things pick up,” he said.
Hosking Richards also agrees that investors from the more established markets are likely taking a closer look at the region.
“It’s definitely better value for money when you look at the price per square metre, cost of living is more affordable and it’s got a great climate, so you can see why people would be interested,” he said.
“The other thing is that the major players who left the region are coming back in and they’re paying good prices for land to develop and as a result the price of apartments and houses are going to rise.”
Paul Wilson, founder of Gold Coast based buyers' agency We Find Houses, said the increased level of activity in the region's market were evident.
"Across the entire market we're seeing a lot more happening and I think the apartment sales are getting swept up in that," Wilson said.
"I think a lot of peopel are looking at the bang they get for their buck and they're viewinfg them as a good entry point to the market and the rental returns are a lot better than you'll see in somewhere like Sydney."
While there are some positives for the region, Hosking Richards does have some words of caution for investors looking at the south-east corner of Queensland.
“I think a lot of people in property these days want a bit of a stable ride, not an up and down rollercoaster and an area that’s got a bigger population and more diverse economy is likely to deliver that predictability.
“If I had $400,000 to spend and I was looking around Queensland I’d be more inclined to look at Brisbane than the Gold Coast.”
A report released lasty week revealed that off the plan sales in Brisbane are also booming at the moment
, with 1,463 new apartments worth $814 million sold during the June quarter.