The head of a major real estate group believes the stage is set for a strong 2016 and beyond for the market in one stretch of south east Queensland.

Ray White Surfers Paradise Group chief executive officer Andrew Bell believes the Gold Coast will continue to attract attention for the foreseeable future, helped into the investment spotlight by worsening affordability in markets such as Sydney and Melbourne.

“As soon as Sydney and Melbourne started to test people’s affordability levels we saw a huge increase in the level of interest from investors,” Bell said.

“People were buying properties sight unseen. For properties in the $400,000 to $420,000 range people were ringing up and offering $410,000. Other investors were just flying up on the weekend and then going home having purchased something,” he said.

While Bell said affordability no doubt pushed some buyers to the Gold Coast, there are other factors that are helping the popularity of the region.

“Because our prices hadn’t gone up so much recently our yields are more attractive than in other areas and our vacancy rate, which I believe is down to around 1.7% is only going to help that,” he said.

“The other thing is that I think people see the area as a safer market now because of the substantial development we’ve got going on. It’s bringing tradesmen, engineers, architects and those in a range of other industries associated with it and that’s helping employment and the economy here.”

While the 2018 Commonwealth Games has resulted in an injection of funding into the area, Bell said the development occurring currently goes beyond that one off event.

“There’s something like $10 billion dollars of worth of expenditure happening here at the moment.

“That’s a combination of government spending as well as private operations like Jupiter’s. There’s a real sense of optimism and renewed confidence throughout the area.”

Bell also believes the Gold Coast could start to take some of the investment limelight from Brisbane.

“Brisbane’s been talked up for the past year or so as the next big thing, but there are some concerns about supply levels there and it hasn’t seemed to do much yet.”

Bell isn’t the only one who is bullish on the Gold Coast’s prospects.

Louis Christopher, head of SQM Research, last year gave the region his vote of confidence, predicting values to rise by 7% - 11% during 2016, with rents growing at around 8% in 2016.

“We believe Gold Coast property investors are likely to enjoy good returns, both in rents and capital growth for up to the next three years," he said.

While there are predictions interest in the Gold Coast real estate market will remain strong, this weekend give an indicator of what is to come as Ray White Surfers Paradise Group hold their annual auction showcase, The Event.

The Event will see the more than 100 residential properties go under the hammer on Sunday.

“We’ve got something like 109 properties up for auction this weekend and its diverse range of properties. We’ve got one-bedroom apartment, houses, waterfront villas and rural properties,” Bell said.

“It’s something we’ve been doing for a few years now. This time of year we have a huge number of people in the area from across the country and overseas, so it’s a great opportunity to showcase to them the opportunities in the area at the moment.”