Credit to original source: ABC news
Queensland’s peak real estate body says the Gold Coast property market may avoid a significant downturn amid the coronavirus pandemic, with predictions of an increase in the number of interstate buyers chasing a sea change.
- Real Estate Institute of Queensland says Gold Coast real estate offers ‘far more affordable’ properties for people wanting to reduce their mortgages in the wake of COVID-19
- Current data shows the south-east Queensland real estate market is stable
- Suburbs, like Surfers Paradise, with many holiday-letting apartments are more exposed to a downturn as tourism continues to be affected by coronavirus restrictions
Chief executive of The Real Estate Institute of Queensland, Antonia Mercorella, said once the health crisis was over Australians would be re-evaluating their lives and looking to locations like the Gold Coast that could offer better affordability.
“We’re far more affordable than other states,” she said.
“We are probably going to see people thinking, ‘I might just move to the sunshine state — the climate is great, it’s a more relaxed lifestyle, your dollars go a lot further’.
“A number of people will be thinking about perhaps wanting to have a lower mortgage, less financial stress in their lives [and] live an easier life.
“If you think about those factors Queensland actually offers terrific liveability.”
‘Doom and gloom’ predictions not accurate
One property analyst has warned the worst-case scenario, where coronavirus restrictions are prolonged and a second wave of the disease occurs, could see housing prices tumble by up to 30 per cent in Sydney and Melbourne.
But Ms Mercorella said while confidence would be dented, available data showed the South-East Queensland market was quite stable.
“None of the data we’re seeing is matching the predictions of doom and gloom that we’re hearing,” she said.
“But it is early days, we may start to see more of an impact as the weeks and months move on.”
Ms Mercorella said, while she was cautious about making predictions, she believed the state had a lot to offer people re-evaluating their lifestyles.
“We may well see more and more people from interstate reconsidering where they want to live in the future,” she said.
“I think that will be a good thing, obviously, for our property market.”
‘Plenty of interest’ from developers
The owners of a vintage Miami motel from the Gold Coast’s golden era, White Lanterns, have decided the time is right to put their property on the market.
The motel is on the market for $3.5 million with the current owners buying it 18 years ago for $872,500.
While its roadside sign boasts about colour television and clock radios, real estate agent Carlie Mills said the motel’s position on the Gold Coast Highway and three minute’s walk from the beach had already attracted “plenty of interest”.
“Some developers are looking at renovating and revamping and keeping the original condition,” she said.
“But we are getting a lot of people after the land value as well.”
Units, apartments most at risk
Gold Coast real estate agent, Rob Lamb, said apartments in Surfers Paradise would be the most exposed to any downturn in the local market, along with those in at-risk suburbs including Biggera Waters, Robina and Varsity.
“Where there’s a high concentration of holiday-letting apartments, so Surfers Paradise, you should probably see a bit of an impact there,” he said.
“Tourism has come to a grinding halt so, unless that domestic tourism market really picks-up quickly, I envisage there’ll be a lot of empty rooms and they’re not generating any income from their apartments.
“Broadbeach, to a lesser extent, may be affected but not as severely as somewhere like Surfers Paradise.”
Mr Lamb said he had seen an uptick in online real estate enquiries and an increase in overall online engagement with his properties.
“There’ll be a hit to the market in that investor unit side,” he said.
“We may see a small dip in property prices but not as much as what people are predicting.”
Domestic tourism could ‘double’
Louis Christoper, the managing director of real estate appraisal company, SQM Research, said the impact of coronavirus on Gold Coast house prices would depend on when restrictions eased.
“It’s very possible that the Gold Coast housing market, along with the rest of the country, may well experience a v-shaped recovery where we’ll record a negative prices for the June quarter but the September and December quarters will be more positive,” he said.
“We’ve always had a degree of people seeking a sea change for many years now — whether we’ll see a surge or not remains to be seen.”
But Mr Christopher said the domestic tourist market could rebound.
“The Gold Coast could expect potentially a doubling of domestic tourism if we see the international border remain closed,” he said.
“As we see from year after year, you see a certain percentage of domestic tourists [who] decide that they actually wish to stay longer on the Gold Coast and make it their home.”
While restrictions sting, online auctions ‘working well’
Broadbeach-based agent, Christine Tucker, said while buyer enquiries have dropped off a little, online auctions have been working well and buyers have been happy to register and bid over the phone.
She said there had been a surprise upside to the coronavirus restrictions when it had come to open inspections.
“They can take 15–20 minutes on their own and have the whole house to themselves and really get a good feel for the property.
“We’re remaining positive and, whilst there’s still a shortage of supply for properties, I still think the property market prices are going to stay the way they are and we’re still getting good results.”