Gold Coast real estate is looking very shaky:
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Developer Jon Fish’s Tuscan-style six-bedrrom house with 55m water frontage at 5 Lancelot Close, Sovereign Islands, Gold Coast, which sold for $7 million. MORE PHOTOS Source: Supplied
THE Gold Coast is losing some of its swagger, with housing prices falling by up to 30 per cent. And there may be worse to come for the region.
The signs are there: declining immigration, increasing unemployment, dire affordability, rising interest rates, an absence of buyers and a lift in the number of mortgagee sales.
Few high-profile developers remain, wiped out by poor decisions, debt and the global financial crisis.
The place has also changed. It’s seen huge growth – 580,000 people now live there – and the housing market has become more complex.
There’s everything from overpriced beachfront luxury – one-bedroom apartments from $795,000 – to battleaxe blocks in suburbs that look like any other urban sprawl.
There’s been a focus on spectacular losses: the Q1 penthouse was sold recently for less than $5 million after being bought for $7.8m in 2002.
But the real long-term story may well be the incremental pain suffered by ordinary homeowners as cracks begin to emerge in the mortgage belt.
Adding to the bleak picture is a housing stock overhang that real estate mogul John McGrath – who has expanded his Sydney-based agency business to the Gold Coast – says will take more than two years to clear “if nothing was listed from now on”.
And that’s not going to happen. Indeed, the trickle has become a flood in some areas. Until the past few weeks the amount of property available (and traded) on the Gold Coast has been at multi-year lows but that is changing.
It’s a pattern being repeated across Queensland, where many regional lifestyle property markets are in disarray: Cairns, Port Douglas, Whitsundays, Noosa and Hervey Bay, to name a few. For the week to November 21, there were 74,193 advertised property listings in Queensland, up 26 per cent from the same period last year, according to residential researcher RP Data.
“That’s really hurting the market,” says RP Data’s senior research analyst Cameron Kusher.
To put it another way, Queensland has tens of thousands more property listings than any other state in the country. In Australia’s most populous states, NSW and Victoria, for example, there were 64,362 and 45,976 listings respectively.
In years past some of these southerners may well have been selling up to move to the Gold Coast but that is not happening as much any more, and high prices are a reason.