There’s been talk for some time of the huge presence of interstate buyers in the Gold Coast property market.
The media is awash with stories of Melbourne and Sydney house-hunters going to extreme lengths to secure a place in the Sunshine State, including paying big sums for properties they’ve never stepped foot in, or jumping on a plane purely to attend a local auction.
This happened this week with the sale of a Burleigh Heads apartment styled by Anna Spiro.
The sub-penthouse was sold through Kollosche to a Melburnian who flew to the Coast for mere hours just to put in what resulted in being the winning bid of $1.85m.
While there is merit to the hype, it leaves me wondering, what has happened to the locals?
Well, they’re where they have always been. Here. Protecting their stake in the market.
Amir Mian of Amir Prestige, who covers the north, south and hinterland areas of the Gold Coast, said that there were definitely more southern buyers in the market since COVID, but they were not the engine driving the bulk of sales.
He said locals still made up 50 per cent of transactions across the Coast and southerners had simply replaced the 25 per cent of the market once filled by Chinese buyers.
“That group has essentially gone, so what has happened is that interstate buyers have moved in to fill the quota. It’s a much bigger contingent than the historic 7 per cent it was before COVID, which is why it’s caused all the hype.”
However, Mr Mian said the over-emphasis on the spike in southerners had given sellers a skewed perception of the market.
“It can be misleading because everyone thinks that they are going to sell their house to an interstate buyer who’ll pay anything for it, and when they don’t materialise they wonder what’s wrong,” he said.
While a desire for a sea or tree-change brought forward by COVID is the reason behind southerners’ sudden migration north, Mr Mian said the same incentives were fuelling locals’ movement within the Gold Coast.
He also said that some of the sales activity was savvy local investors who, seeing the high demand, were selling some of their property portfolio to allow them to purchase their dream home.
Robert Graham of Ray White Prestige in Surfers Paradise agreed that local buyers were behind the heated market.
“In Main Beach particularly, 90 per cent of our sales over the past few months have been to locals, and when I say local, I mean from the Gold Coast,” he said.
“Often they are Main Beachers moving within Main Beach.
“So while we do get large levels of inquiries from Sydney and Melbourne, the actual buyers prepared to pay the prices where they see good value are Gold Coasters.”
Some recent examples include an apartment in the boutique ‘Sea’ building at 3531 Main Beach, which was bought by a local wanting to relocate from their house on main river to the beachfront. Mr Graham said they snapped it up for $6.3m, which was the highest price paid for a whole-floor apartment in Main Beach, possibly along the entire coast.
A two-bedroom renovated beach shack at 34 Tedder Avenue was grabbed at auction for $2.1m by a local couple looking to downsize from their penthouse just a few streets away, while the buyers of 3517 Main Beach Parade – one of the last original beach shacks along the front –weren’t from the Coast, they are Queenslanders.
Main Beach residents will be breathing a sigh of relief to learn that despite stumping up $7.23m for the property, the new owners intend to build a large beach house on the block, rather than apartments or a development.
This article by Lisa Hughes first appeared on realestate.com.au on 8 February, 2021.
Image: Midwater at Main Beach