News for Gold Coast Property Investors

Gold Coast Apartment Sales Pick Up, Supply Falls Off

The Gold Coast apartment market has transitioned into the Covid-19 crisis in a much better position than it was going into the global financial crisis, planning and advisory firm Urbis says.

In its latest quarterly survey, Urbis found that the Gold Coast market was tracking well, recording 265 sales in the first quarter of 2020, sitting above the two-year quarterly average of 238 sales.

The weighted average sales price also lifted by 10 per cent over the quarter to $809,811, buoyed by strong pre-Covid sales.

Urbis said that over the year the Southern Beaches Precinct recorded the highest sales rate, yet a recently launched projects in Surfers Paradise had rebooted enquiry and transactions in the Gold Coast Central Precinct.

Over the quarter 64 per cent of a sales were to owner occupiers and only five per cent to overseas buyers, while interstate investors accounted for 19 per cent of sales.

Urbis senior consultant Lynda Campbell said the current environment had pushed developers to reassess projects to ensure they are ready for changes in the market.

Gold Coast Apartment Sales Pick Up, Supply Falls Off (2)

“It is more important now to make sure projects are targeting buyer demand in order to weather the storm,” Campbell said.

“Projects with a high exposure to the investment market will need to put in place solid pre-settlement work to maintain a strong settlement rate.”

Urbis said the city had also benefited from a shift in sentiment in recent years, favourably trending away from large developments targeting international investors and instead towards smaller boutique projects, targeting owner occupiers.

Moving forward the market is tipped to remain resilient, further supported by low interest rates, a low level of supply and a higher level of product aimed at the owner occupier market.

Worryingly, the supply of new apartments remained relatively weak at 1,000 apartments, the lowest level recorded in over five years.

“There is a pipeline of projects ready to launch over the next six months, but whether they do will be something to watch,” Campbell said.

“If project launches slow, this will put pressure on the current supply.”

Urbis said it would be watching fourteen forthcoming projects containing approximately 1,160 apartments due to settle throughout 2020 closely to see if the Covid-19 border restrictions were impacting the market.

“The next quarter’s results will be highly anticipated,” Campbell said.

“Interest rates are still low, and there is not a large volume of expensive product aimed at investors, as was the case going into the GFC.

“Though we expect sales to slow, conversations with developers suggest that enquiry is still strong.”




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REVEALED The Australian city which has had MASSIVE rent reductions of up to 32% as the coronavirus crisis hits the property sector hard (1)

Apartments in the Gold Coast suburbs of Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise have seen a massive rent decrease due to the coronavirus.

A survey found rent prices for one-bedroom units in Boulevard North Apartments were priced at $450 per week last year but have since dropped to between $350 and $390.

Two-bedroom flats in Circle on Cavill in Surfers Paradise were priced at $630 per week in early 2020, but have now fallen to $425.

REVEALED The Australian city which has had MASSIVE rent reductions of up to 32% as the coronavirus crisis hits the property sector hard (4)

The one-bedroom Boulevard North Apartments feature an ocean view with an open-plan living and dining area, a full kitchen, laundry facilities and a separate bedroom with a large queen-sized bed.

The two-bedroom apartments in Surfers Paradise also feature an ocean view and come with two bathrooms – including the master with a spa bath – a gourmet kitchen and a large dining area.

It also features a master bedroom with a queen-sized bed and a choice of two single beds or another queen in the second bedroom.

The rent for three and one-bedroom apartments in Bel Air on Broadbeach has been cut by nine and eight per cent to $525 and $360 per week.

A number of new vacancies have also appeared in areas close to employment hubs such as Pacific Fair and The Star complex.

REVEALED The Australian city which has had MASSIVE rent reductions of up to 32% as the coronavirus crisis hits the property sector hard (3)

REIQ Gold Coast zone chair, Andrew Henderson, said price cuts were a result of an adjusting market due to retail and hospitality workers losing their jobs.

‘They’ve gone back home or to friends because they weren’t able to afford to stay where they were,’ he said told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

Mr Henderson said apartments in the price range of about $500 or less per week have received the largest discounts.

‘Take around the Pacific Fair, casino and Convention Centre. Obviously there have been a lot of jobs disappear from three big employers and hence anything within walking distance was a popular pocket that at the moment is showing a high number of vacancies because the jobs aren’t there.’

REVEALED The Australian city which has had MASSIVE rent reductions of up to 32% as the coronavirus crisis hits the property sector hard (2)




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Central Gold Coast market to remain buoyant in the early 2020 HTW residential (1)

Given the positive final quarter of 2019, the central Gold Coast area is anticipated to remain fairly buoyant throughout the first half of 2020, according to a recent Herron Todd White (HTW) residential report.

The valuation firm ask their valuers to give an educated outlook on the residential market in their service areas.

The report notes sales activity spiked during September and October 2019 and local agents have reported that good levels of demand continued throughout holiday period for a broad range of property.

The stable market conditions in the Sydney and Melbourne property markets along with the low interest rate environment and easing of lending policy has given confidence to local buyers, particularly those seeking to purchase property priced in the higher price brackets.

“Burleigh Heads and Burleigh Waters remain hot spots, however more recently we have noticed good sales activity in the suburbs of Miami and in Sorrento (Bundall),” the valuation firm said.

A two bedroom beach styled dimples in Miami has recently been sold for $670,000.

Situated at 2/10 Cantwell Court (pictured below), it comes renovated bath and kitchen, indoor and outdoor living space and backyard.

Set on a 372sqm block, the house is only 900m away from Miami beach.

Central Gold Coast market to remain buoyant in the early 2020 HTW residential (3)

The report notes it will be interesting to see how property will perform within the Isle of Capri (Surfers Paradise) over the year.

The Isle of Capri is regarded as one of the preferred residential waterfront areas within the established areas of the central Gold Coast, being within close proximity to the Surfers Paradise CBD.

A fairly large infrastructure project (road bridge upgrade) has commenced which aims to improve traffic flow through the locality (to and from the CBD area). The expected completion of the project according to local council is mid 2021.


In the meantime, residents are likely to be disrupted by the project due to increased traffic congestion caused by the ongoing road works.

“We will wait to see if the project has any significant impact on property sales in this pocket,” the valuation firm stated.

A waterfront house in Isle of Capri was sold for $4.5 million in January.

The four bedroom, three bathroom house is situated at 25 The Corso (pictured below).

The home comes with indoor and outdoor living space, swimming pool, open plan gourmet kitchen and four car garage.

Central Gold Coast market to remain buoyant in the early 2020 HTW residential (2)

The unit market may experience slightly tougher conditions in 2020 compared with 2019, according to the HTW residential report. This market (particularly within Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach) is heavily reliant on investors from interstate and overseas.

With a good volume of new unit stock introduced in 2019 and more high density projects due to be completed this year on the central Gold Coast, there is some concern about a potential oversupply in this area.

“On a more positive note, general feedback from local real estate agencies suggests that demand for rental properties has remained firm and rental values are trending upwards,” the valuation firm said.




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Council Backs Coomera Civic Hub Centre Proposal (1)

Gold Coast City council has authorised plans for a new Coomera Civic Hub development project on the northern Gold Coast to progress.

The three level building is described as the “city’s first regional integrated community facility”, with the proposed development to be built on land adjoining the Westfield Coomera.

A spokesperson for the Gold Coast City council wouldn’t confirm costs of the project, and said that the “city is continuing to negotiate the commercial terms of the arrangement”.

“Much of the details around the project, including design and funding, are commercial in confidence,” the spokesperson said.

“Once agreed, appropriate contractual arrangements would be executed and the detailed design, approvals and construction then undertaken [with] a funding plan to be submitted to council.”

Council Backs Coomera Civic Hub Centre Proposal (2)

Described as a “one-stop-shop” facility at Coomera Town Centre, the preliminary design includes a councillor’s office, state-of-the-art library, multi-purpose community centre, youth hub, co-working space for not-for-profits, auditorium and a customer service centre.

Construction on HOTA Gallery

The six-level “Home of the Arts” HOTA gallery has reached its topping out milestone after kicking off construction in April last year.

The $60.5 million gallery, delivered by construction company Hansen Yuncken, is the tallest building structure Gold Coast City has undertaken, located near Surfers Paradise.

Representatives from City of Gold Coast, HOTA, ARM Architecture and builder Hansen Yuncken trowelled the last pour of concrete atop the building to mark the completion of the project’s structural phase.




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Insurance in parts of the Gold Coast now unavailable or unaffordable due to flood risk

Some home insurers will no longer touch parts of the Gold Coast, leaving residents with unaffordable premiums or without insurance as what experts call the “red-zone” phenomenon expands.

It comes after the Gold Coast experienced a major flooding event earlier this month, with more than 120 millimetres of rain falling in one day. Rainfall records were also smashed earlier this year.

Quote requests lodged with Youi, Budget Direct and other budget insurers were denied for properties in Harris Court, Currumbin Waters, which is in a City of Gold Coast designated flood zone.

Other, larger, insurers offer quotes for policies, but the premiums could be as high as $9000 a year for just the house if storm surge coverage is included.

For policies where storm surge coverage was not immediately clear, the price was between $2500 to $2900.

One resident in the area, who declined to be named, told Domain that Youi declared there was no option to renew their policy when it expired.

Red zones are where home insurance becomes prohibitively expensive due to the high risk of natural disaster, or insurers decline to offer coverage at all.

In parts of Surfers Paradise, the situation is similar. In a flood zone in River Drive, both Youi and Budget Direct did not issue online quotes.

On Rapallo Avenue, Surfers Paradise, on a block partially in the flood zone, Youi will not complete a quote and Budget Direct would quote about $1100 a year but would not include flood cover.

Youi said in a statement the company was “selective about issuing new policies in Currumbin Waters because of the high risk of water inundation, a decision based on both independent flood mapping data and previous claims experience.”

The insurer did not answer the question about whether a Currumbin Waters resident could take out a policy at all, or why others were unable to renew. It did not address Surfers Paradise.

Budget Direct did not respond by deadline.

Climate change consultancy Climate Risk’s director Karl Mallon said the relatively unaffordable insurance rates or unwillingness to insure altogether was troubling.

“They could just turn down the flood cover, but reputationally it just doesn’t look good when a flood comes and people don’t get paid out,” he said. “They say, ‘we just don’t want to know.’

“If they’ve come to that view, what happens if other insurers do? You’re creeping towards uninsurability.”

Insurance premiums of up to $3000 were approaching unaffordability, Dr Mallon said.

“That’s indicating the market rate for flood,” he said. “Last I looked, the median wage in Australia is $60,000, it’s not actually that high.

“That’s 5 per cent of someone’s wage, that’s a lot of money. A few people are starting to baulk at the price.”

Insurance in parts of the Gold Coast now unavailable or unaffordable due to flood risk 1


Dr Mallon said the $1100 a year figure, quoted by Budget Direct in Rapallo Avene, Surfers Paradise, was still a cause for concern.

“It’s a little bit on the high side but a normal sort of a price,” he said. “[But] when you try to add flood cover, they just won’t do it.”

The $9000 per year quote was provided by NRMA Insurance. A spokesman said in a statement the price was because their data modelling suggested a flood event was likely, but the premium could increase or decrease as new information became available.

“Our customers’ premiums are assessed at their individual property level and reflect their exposure to a range of risks, including flood, as well as other natural disasters,” he said. “NRMA Insurance Home policies automatically provide cover for flood, rainwater run-off and storm surge, which we believe is critical for our customers in coastal areas.”

Dr Mallon said the figure was close to a “real” price for the risk of insuring in these areas, but it amounted to red-zoning.

“If they’re coming in at $9000, that’s exactly a red-zone number for us. We think a lot of people may not be able to afford that,” he said. “There are only really two reasons. One is they genuinely believe that’s the right price they have to charge so they don’t make a loss.

“The only other explanation is they actively don’t want people to take their contract.”

Dr Mallon said he would think twice before buying a property in an area where insurance was that expensive.

If I was a home buyer and I was going into an area like this … this is a pretty big warning sign,” he said. “That’s for this year, that’s not even for the future with climate change.

“Someone buying a house is locking themselves in for 30 years, and the world is changing pretty fast.”

Youi’s statement said there was a need to restrict the construction of new homes in areas at risk of natural disasters, to ensure insurance would remain affordable.

Dr Mallon agreed.

“The big agreement [within the insurance industry] is that buildings are being built where they shouldn’t and with materials, they shouldn’t. It’s not acceptable,” he said.

“The idea we’re allowing the property sector to get away with building high-risk properties is like allowing people to put arsenic in one in 100 tubs of baby formula.”




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Good news for anyone who owns a home in Hope Island… The popular suburb on the northern Gold Coast has increased its annual median house price by almost 50 per cent.

According to fresh data released by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, Hope Island experienced a quarter on quarter median price growth of 43.4 per cent Read more

Why Gold Coast investors should look at parklands

Gold Coast investors have been advised to purchase ‘right-size’ apartments in urban parklands to follow the increasing trend of Gold Coasters wanting the best of both worlds.

According to Knight Frank business development manager Chris Litfin the Gold Coast is experiencing a lifestyle change, with residents wanting more than beaches and metropolitan living. Read more

Gold coast freeway upgrade

Works are underway on multiple transport projects around the Gold Coast, just weeks after federal funding was finally secured.

The Palaszczuk Government is wasting no time getting vital infrastructure projects underway, with works beginning on M1 upgrades and the light rail. Read more

The Gold Coast trophy home that stands to make $38.7 million profit in six years

The morning that 26 Knightsbridge Parade East, Sovereign Islands went up for auction, Perth civil engineer Ric Rizzi awoke and thought to himself the bidding would likely start at $12 million.

It was 2013 and the landmark Gold Coast waterfront property, which had fallen into mortgagee hands halfway through being built, had reportedly already cost its local owners $21.44 million.

Designed by the Brunei royal family architect Bayden Goddard,  the brief had been to create a chateau that looked 100 years old and suited the European coast or Long Island, New York. The house was majestically sprawled over four blocks of land that cost $9.44 million in 2005, and had an initial construction cost of $12 million before its owners were evicted with only half the house completed.

The Gold Coast trophy home that stands to make $38.7 million profit in six years 1

Mr Rizzi turned up at the auction expecting to snag a bargain but even he was completely shocked when the hammer fell at $5.3 million, with him the final bidder.

“It was bizarre. When the realisation came that there were no other bidders, that was a sensational feeling. I looked at the top of the entrance hall that stands 14.5 metres above the ground and it was almost like a sign from heaven that it was meant to be,” he said.

“In what world do you actually buy a house like this for significantly less than the land value? It was a total leap of faith; I didn’t think about what it would cost to finish, whether it was a good or bad decision and normally I’m an ultra conservative civil engineer.

The Gold Coast trophy home that stands to make $38.7 million profit in six years 2

“To take on a project was left field for me at the time but the whole thing just happened in milliseconds so I took it as a sign from God it was meant to be.”

Shortly after buying the mansion, Mr Rizzi was able to purchase the adjoining lot next door for $1.19 million and amalgamated all five blocks on to one massive title, giving the property a whopping 106 metres of north-facing water frontage.

He then spent 12 months compiling all of the documentation – building licences and approvals – and re-instating the consultants and builder who had originally worked on the house.

The Gold Coast trophy home that stands to make $38.7 million profit in six years 3

Once that was in place, finishing the house took a whopping five years to complete.

“One of the carpenters spent five years of his life working on this house. The tiler laid more than an acre of tiles during that time. It was an absolute labour of love,” Mr Rizzi said.

“The house was never really a project to make money. It came to me in the most bizarre way and I’ve always viewed it as being a sign of the success in my life, versus just a trophy.”

The Gold Coast trophy home that stands to make $38.7 million profit in six years 4

While Mr Rizzi may not have set out to make money, it will come to him anyway. The house is once again up for sale, albeit this time finished, and with a jaw-dropping price tag to match its palatial size – it’s listed for $US30 million (about $AUD 44 million).

Marketing agent Alex Phillis of Alex Phillis Real Estate said the property was listed for sale in US dollars because it was likely the buyer would come from overseas.

“Buyers from Singapore and the Middle East work in US dollars, so we’re just making it easy for them,” he said.

The Gold Coast trophy home that stands to make $38.7 million profit in six years 5

“I’m already fielding inquiries from overseas – this is a house that will go viral.”

But he wasn’t ruling out a local buyer, pointing out there were plenty of wealthy people in Australia who had eyeballs on it.

“This house is phenomenal on a national scale. Certainly, this is the most incredible house on the Gold Coast but I don’t think there’s anything like this in Australia, based on the construction alone,” he said.

The Gold Coast trophy home that stands to make $38.7 million profit in six years 6

“I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s in an absolute league of its own. It’d be worth $100 million easy if it was on the Sydney harbour.”

Some of the house’s incredible features include seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, custom copper doors, a Turkish bathhouse, eight-metre high ceilings, a 30-metre swimming pool and imported French oak flooring.

The 14.5-metre high entrance lobby features Australia’s only four-metre tall, bronze, imported Italian statue of King Neptune, which took carpenters two days just to unpack it. If you’ve got a few cars, there’s a 568-square-metre waterproofed sprayed concrete basement with 12 car parks, wine cellar and a workshop.

The Gold Coast trophy home that stands to make $38.7 million profit in six years 7

“To give you an idea of how big this house is, we needed a drone to video the inside of the house,” Mr Phillis said.

“The east and west corridors are 80 metres long. The corridors are that high and that wide, the scale of it is just incredible.”

Mr Rizzi said he had lived in the house and loved it but with all four of his adult children now back living in Perth, he wanted to move back to the west coast to be closer to them.

The Gold Coast trophy home that stands to make $38.7 million profit in six years 8

“What it came down to, at the end of the day, was it was just too small for me,” he laughed.

“Seriously though, Scott Tyne [the original owner] was a visionary. I fulfilled the way I believe Mr Tyne would have wanted it and I hope the person who secures it truly appreciates what it actually is.

“I don’t think this house will ever be duplicated in Australia again because it means giving up five years of your life. The true value is not in the bricks and mortar, it’s the five years of a person’s life.

“And it probably cost me the cost of a Volkswagon Polo in paint sample pots. A lot has gone into this house. I want to see it loved and enjoyed.”

The Gold Coast’s New ‘Billion Dollar’ Industry

The Gold Coast’s international education sector could soon be worth $1 billion according to new data revealing growth in the burgeoning industry.

Deloitte Access Economics research shows international education and training was worth more than $988 million to the Gold Coast region last year, showing 18 per cent year-on-year growth.

Earlier this month the federal government reversed the decision to limit the number of international students on the Gold Coast, a move that is expected to inject millions into the city.

The Gold Coast is now classified as a regional centre, expected to come into effect as of November 16, which means it’s eligible for 25,000 foreign students and can offer an additional year on a temporary and post study visas.

“International education and training is on track to be a billion-dollar industry for the Gold Coast,” Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said, while confirming government’s funding commitment to the Gold Coast’s International Student Hub, in Southport, until 2021.

“It’s up there with tourism, construction and sport as one of the Coast’s most important industries.”

Research from Deloitte found that Brazil, China and India were the Gold Coast’s largest international student cohorts.

The sector supports up to 4700 jobs, according to Deloitte, with an estimated 6200 friends and family of students having travelled to the region over the year, generating $21 million in tourism expenditure,