News for Gold Coast Property Investors

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.”

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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,





Gold Coast rental vacancies hit seven year high

The number of properties available for rent on the Gold Coast has hit its highest level in seven years.

And in some cases rents are also coming down.

According to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ), the rental vacancy rate on the Gold Coast was at 3 per cent in the September quarter.

That’s up from 2.8 per cent in the June quarter and a big rise from the 1.7 per cent vacancy rate in the September quarter last year.

The vacancy rate hasn’t been that high since September 2012 when it hit 3.5 per cent.

It’s a vast improvement for renters after vacancy hit a low of 1.1 per cent in December last year.

REIQ says there is currently an oversupply of rental properties on the Gold Coast.

That’s thanks largely to new developments that keep popping up across the city which has also been forcing some rents down.

The average rent for a three-bedroom unit was down 1 per cent or $5 a week on the same time last year.

But the average rent for a three-bedroom townhouse was up 2.4 per cent or around $10 a week.

REIQ says property managers on the Gold Coast report that investor activity has remained pretty much the same over the last three months.

It’s a different story in Brisbane where the number of available rental properties has slumped to its lowest level in 11 years.

Vacancy rates have fallen to 1.6 per cent while rents have also increased.




REVEALED The Gold Coast suburbs where house prices have surged

It’s been revealed that the humble Gold Coast suburbs of Jacobs Well, Paradise Point, Surfers Paradise and Tallebudgera Valley have recorded a surprising surge in house value.

According to new data from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, the value of properties in the four suburbs went up between 10 and 21 per cent in the past year to June.

It’s a stark change to the rest of the Gold Coast, which saw the average price of a property in the city fall by 1.6 percent in the last quarter and 0.5% in the past year.

Despite property prices softening, the Gold Coast was still the third most expensive local government area for houses, behind Brisbane and Noosa.

The June quarter saw the median sale price of homes on the Gold Coast drop to $615,000, which is $65,000 less than the average price of a home in Brisbane. Noosa took out the top spot however, with a median sale price of $733,750.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella told myGC that a large amount of Gold Coasters were sitting on gold mines, with a number of million dollar plus suburbs across the city.

The beachside suburb of Main Beach topped the list, with a median house price of $1.5 million in the last quarter.

“Main Beach is always a very popular one and tends to sit right at the top of the pack, but also Mermaid Beach and Surfers Paradise, they’re all in that million dollar club as well as Paradise Point, Runaway Bay and Broadbeach Waters.”

Ms Mercorella revealed the future for homeowners in Clear Island Waters and Hollywell also looks very promising.

“There are a couple of suburbs that are just starting to slightly nudge their way towards that million dollar mark, so those are places like Clear Island Waters and Hollywell, so they’re sort of the top performers on the Gold Coast,” she said.

Over the past five years, the Gold Coast increased its median house price by 26.9 per cent, up from $490,000 at the start of the period.




New $200m development gets underway on Gold Coast

NOT everything in the bricks-and-mortar realm of the digitally disrupted world of retail is shrinking.

At least, it seems, not within the Brisbane-Gold Coast growth corridor.

Work has begun on what is being touted as becoming one of the biggest large format retail precincts in Queensland at the rapidly growing northern end of the Gold Coast.

The $200 million development to be known as Home Focus Pimpama will have more than 53,000sq m of floor space when completed.

Hardware giant Bunnings has already been secured as a major tenant in the homemaker centre, subject to development approval.

Guzman y Gomez, the global casual-dining restaurant chain, is another key tenant that has pre-committed to the first stage of the project.

The large format retail precinct — at Exit 49 on the M1 motorway — is being developed by the Gold Coast-based Baycrown Group, which bought the 24.8ha site at Yawalpah Rd, Pimpama, in 2014 for $14.18 million.

New $200m development gets underway on Gold Coast 2

Artist’s impression of an aerial view of the $200 million large format retail development, Home Focus Pimpama.

Baycrown’s managing director, Olivia Van Asperen, said the group was excited to be creating the new retail precinct and being a part of the growth of the local community.

“Pimpama is recognised as one of the fastest growing areas in southeast Queensland,” she said.

“Stage one of Home Focus Pimpama consists of 28,017sq m of retail floor space with more than 60 per cent already pre-committed.”

Bunnings is looking to open its new warehouse outlet late next year and there will be about 30 other tenancies ranging in size from 200sq m to 2000sq m in stage one.

Ms Van Asperen said the Baycrown had been working with Paul Ziukelis Architects to masterplan and design the homemaker precinct, which will also feature pedestrian and bicycle linkages and 1200 carparking spaces.

She said an upgrade of Yawalpah Rd to four lanes fronting the Home Focus Pimpama site had created high connectivity and visibility from the M1 and a new link road through the project, named Nexus Drive, would further assist traffic flow in the area.

New $200m development gets underway on Gold Coast 1Artist’s impression of the $200 million large format retail development, Home Focus Pimpama.

CBRE’s Andrew Brimson and Sam Macgregor have been appointed as exclusive leasing agents for the project.

Mr Brimson said about 16,500sq m of tenancies in stage one had been pre-committed.

He said along with Bunnings and Guzman y Gomez, leasing deals had been struck with BP Australia, Wild Bean Cafe and Hype Health Club.

“We are into the expressions of interest phase to lease the balance of the stage one tenancies and have a number of national retailers interested in the centre,” Mr Brimson said.

“Given the significant residential development surrounding Home Focus Pimpama there will be a large number of households in the project’s prime catchment area, making for an extremely attractive and strategic location for major large format retailers.”

Baycrown is also in the process of planning a Home Focus-style project in Melton, Victoria.

REVEALED: Location of new Gold Coast train station

The State Government has today revealed the location of a brand new Gold Coast train station.

Minister for Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones said that the new station will be built on the Old Pacific Highway at Pimpama, just south of the new shopping centre.

“We have been listening to the Gold Coast community and we are very excited to announce we have chosen the location of the new Pimpama train station,” the Minister said.
Read more

Sold On Gold Coast Where to find the best bargain buys in the north

HOUSE hunters looking to bag themselves a bargain in the northern Gold Coast are in luck, with three suburbs median house prices coming in well below the city’s overall median price of $655,000.

Willow Vale, Labrador and Pimpama were the three cheapest areas for the north as featured in the Bulletin’s Sold On Gold Coast — the Glitter Strip’s ultimate property guide.

Take a look to see what make these suburbs a standout for more than just their affordability factor.


Median house price: $435,000

Median house rent: $425/week

Median unit price: NA

Median unit rent: $360/week

Average days on market: 61

Average hold period: 8.5 years

Population: 2096

Average weekly household income: $1872

Median age: 30

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Willow Vale is one of the Gold Coast’s cheapest suburb to buy a house with a median of just $435,000.

The median house price is almost $200,000 less than the Gold Coast’s overall median of $630,000.

Sitting behind Springbrook, with a median house price of $405,000, Willow Vale is the city’s second most affordable suburb, attracting househunters looking for a bargain.

The northern rural suburb was formally part of Pimpama and offers a great middle point between the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

It is bordered by Pimpama, Upper Coomera, Wongawallan and Kingsholme.

The sleepy suburb is in the foothills of Tamborine Mountain and is home to the luxury five-star forest retreat — Ruffles Lodge and Spa.

Prices start at $229 per night for a studio-style unit, up to $859 per night for a two-bedroom villa.

The accommodation, spa, restaurant and wedding venue is set among 20ha of gardens, parkland, bush and forest — natural surroundings that characterise the whole suburb.

Those looking to settle down in Willow Vale will enjoy the country lifestyle while maintaining a suburban location.

The area is home to acreage properties ensuring there’s plenty of space for families who are wanting to raise their kids in a rural location, without being too far from city conveniences.

The Gold Coast is about a 30-minute drive from the suburb.

The area’s median house price has dropped significantly in the past 12 months from $915,000, providing buyers an opportune time to break into the area.


Median house price: $441,250

Median house rent: $440/week

Median unit price: $350,000

Median unit rent: $385/week

Average days on market: 55

Average hold period: 11 years

Population: 18,261

Average weekly household income: $1012

Median age: 41

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It is being hailed at the next Southport and its colours are only just starting to truly show.

Old homes are being renovated to rejuvenate Labrador and it’s benefiting from a boom in apartment development.

The $145 million investment to redevelop the Southport Spit is also set to benefit the suburb.

Ray White Labrador owner and principal Darren Davey said the suburb was going through gentrification.

“Looking to the future, it’s probably going to be one of the go-to suburbs of the Gold Coast,” he said.

“There’s lots of development and lots of people buying up older homes and renovating them into their dream home.

“There’s been a lot of 10-storey unit development in the area and it’s earmarked for another

five developments over the next 12 months.

“Lots of cranes in the sky means the area is going well.”

Mr Davey said white-collar workers and tradies were house hunting in the suburb thanks to its affordability and amenities, including access to the freeway.

“It’s growing in stature for white-collar workers who have access to everything, including the beautiful Broadwater,” he said.

“It’s a gem in the rough at the moment and will increase in value over the next two to three years.

“It’s very understated.”

The Broadwater Parklands, Griffith University and the Gold Coast University Hospital are all close by.

“Labrador stands to be what Southport has been over the last few years,” Mr Davey said.


Median house price: $470,000

Median house rent: $440/week

Median unit price: $402,900

Median unit rent: $375/week

Average days on market: 99 days

Average hold period: 5 years

Population: 9396

Average weekly household income: $1596

Median age: 27

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Pimpama is one of the Gold Coast’s, even Australia’s, fastest growing suburbs and the booming area is benefiting from developers splurging on new infrastructure.

The area was once farmland but is now full of new houses and communities.

The northern suburb is a popular spot with families and young buyers looking to break into the Gold Coast market.

Gainsborough Greens sits in the heart of the suburb and is a masterplanned community

by Mirvac.

A $7.5 million park with an impressive playground, events amphitheatre and sport facilities will open this year.

The 5ha Bim’bimba Park will feature a basketball half-court, skate ramps, table tennis, barbecue and picnic areas as well as a 15m play tower with climbing nets and slides.

QM Properties also invested $3 million to construct a new bridge to boost connectivity in Pimpama, as the developer’s Pacific Cove estate continues to expand.

The 60m bridge was a gateway between the estate and local schools and shopping centres, including Pimpama Junction and Westfield Coomera.

“Pacific Cove is proving popular with first-home buyers looking for an affordable entry to the property market, with recent releases of lots priced from just $230,000,” QM Properties general sales manager Damien Ross said.

Pimpama has a $470,000 median house price, which has grown by 17.8 per cent in the past five years, according to CoreLogic.

Despite the market downturn that impacted most of the country, the suburb notched 2.2 per cent growth in the three months to April. The area’s median unit price also had steady growth in the past five years, jumping by 15.1 per cent to $402,900.

There had been 230 house sales and just 29 units have changed hands in the past 12 months.





Gold Coast house prices have tripled over the past 20 years

HOMEOWNERS who bought a house on the Gold Coast two decades ago could sell it today for triple the price they paid.

New data from property market research firm Propertyology shows the city is one of 111 Australian locations where median house prices have tripled over the past 20 years.

The research was conducted between December 1998 and December 2018 on more than 180 towns and cities across the country with a population of 10,000 or more.

Propertyology head of research Simon Pressley said the Coast’s median house price had jumped from $185,000 to $632,000 in the 20-year period — an increase of $447,000.

Gold Coast house prices have tripled over the past 20 years 1

“I doubt too many of those who purchased Gold Coast real estate 20 years ago would complain about the asset increasing 3.4 times,” he said.

“It highlights why residential real estate has always been such a popular asset class.

“An annual average capital growth rate over the last 20 years of 6.3 per cent plus a median rental yield of 4.3 per cent is a stellar result.”

He said regional markets had generally performed better long term.

“Generally speaking, locations with a more affordable median house price have more upside potential for capital growth,” he said.

“For that potential to be realised, the real skill is being able to identify the locations with positive leading economic indicators.”

Ray White Broadbeach principal Mitch Palmer backed Mr Pressley’s comments, explaining the high growth was possible because the Coast had such a low median house price 20 years ago.

To expect it to triple again in another 20 years was “a little bit less likely”.

“It’s easier when you’re coming off a low median,” Mr Palmer said.

“Coming off a high median and expecting it to still triple is a considerable amount.

“It would be logical to think it’s going to grow another $400,000 over 20 years though — property is a great long term investment.”

He put the growth down to the city’s strong and growing economy.




Gold Coast rental market softening with more properties on offer

TENANTS considering shopping around for a cheaper rental property could be in luck, with more options reported to be available now compared to a few months ago.

The REIQ’s latest Quarterly Regional Market Monitor report shows the vacancy rate increased only slightly in the March quarter to 1.8 per cent, reflecting a tight market.

However, institute chief executive Antonia Mercorella said the data did not consider a recent influx of properties to the rental pool.

“Recent feedback from local agents indicates the rental market has moved significantly in April, and May is much softer,” she said.

Gold Coast rental market softening with more properties on offer 1

“While the rental market in our major tourism centre is affected by seasonality where demand slows heading into winter, there has been a strong level of new rental supply come online and this has had an immediate impact on the market.

“There is a lag in the available data and while the current statistics suggest tight demand, we expect this to relax in the next two quarters.”

The median rental price for houses in the first three months of the year was $500 a week, and $450 a week for units, according to the report.

REIQ Gold Coast zone chairman Andrew Henderson said JLL’s Smith Collective built-to-rent dwellings on the site of the former 2018 Commonwealth Games athletes village were among those to flood the market in recent months.

He said the abundance of options on the market would prevent rental prices from skyrocketing further.

“Potentially there might be some downward pressure on pricing with supply and demand,” he said.

“I see it more in a balanced-type market.

“For good properties that are priced right, there’s good demand.”

Rental yields in the quarter were recorded at 4.2 per cent for houses and 5.5 per cent for units, both of which were slight rises on the previous quarter’s results.