The Avanti Group

Why house prices are rising so fast on the Gold Coast

NEW data shows house prices across Australia are rising at the fastest rate for more than 30 years – with the Gold Coast among the areas seeing the biggest surge in values.

CoreLogic’s national home value index recorded a 2.8% rise in March – the fastest rate of appreciation since October 1998.

It followed a report from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) that showed Gold Coast house prices rose 7.7% for the December quarter, significantly above the statewide average of 6.1%.

Among the biggest risers were Burleigh Heads, Carrara and Labrador, where double-digit rises were recorded.

REIQ Gold Coast Zone Chair Andrew Henderson said there were a variety of factors driving the local market.

“The Gold Coast market is super strong. There’s a shortage of supply, while demand outstrips it, across all types of property,” Mr Henderson said.

“I think a lot of it is about more flexible working-from-home arrangements; interest rates at historic lows has led to a significant amount of the price increase; and, our relative affordability on a national basis has had a big bearing.

“The Gold Coast was potentially undervalued going into the pandemic – we were slipping behind Sydney and Melbourne year-on-year – and now we’re experiencing the price catch up we’ve been due.”

The Gold Coast unit market is also performing strongly, with values going up 5.1% over the December quarter to an average price of $446,750.

The REIQ report revealed that the average amount of time properties are spending on the market has tumbled, down from 50 days to 34.

The strong demand and lack of supply has put a sharp focus on a lack of development land on the Gold Coast, with developers warning the city is close to running out.

Mr Henderson suggested that the Coast was likely to see more townhouse developments as pressure on land increased.

“I think the next phase for the Gold Coast has to be infill development,” Mr Henderson said. “We’ve been through the phase of just going up and up, and going high. You’re now going to have people who don’t want to live in a high rise and can’t afford a freestanding house, but a duplex or a triplex with a bit of yard allows them to be closer in with less of the costs associated with a high rise.”

In the meantime, experts are predicting the property boom will continue throughout 2021, with investment bank UBS telling The Australian it expected values nationally to rise between 10 and 15 per cent this year.

UBS Australia chief economist George Tharenou said he expected the return of investors to the market in big numbers to help fuel the rise.

Keith Woods | Gold Coast Bulletin | 2 April 2021