‘Zoom Boom’ Draws Sea-Changers to Sunshine State


Regional and satellite property markets such as the Sunshine Coast are experiencing an uplift in transaction activity and house price growth throughout the pandemic.

The Sunshine Coast has recorded consistent dwelling price growth for both houses and units, while simultaneously, population growth in the region is at its highest level in almost a decade, CBRE research shows.

The Sunshine Coast’s median house price increased by 3.8 per cent to $622,500 in the year to June 2020, and its median unit price recorded 2.4 per cent growth to $420,000.

CBRE notes that the annual rates of growth were higher than the Gold Coast—3.1 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively—and the Greater Brisbane area, which grew 1.3 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively.

Over the second quarter of 2020, Sunshine Coast dwellings recorded a 0.8 per cent uptick in house prices during the period, and unit prices increased by 1.2 per cent.

Comparatively, CBRE data notes that Gold Coast dwellings recorded 0.2 per cent house price growth and units 0.5 per cent growth for the same period.

CBRE’s director of residential valuations Jarrod Fazer said places like the Sunshine Coast are reaping the benefits of a digital “zoom boom”.

“Regional and satellite residential property markets are experiencing remarkable resilience in the face of Covid-19,” Frazer said.

“Over the past few months, we’ve seen people who were considering a sea-change to the Sunshine Coast bring that decision forward due to Covid. Being able to connect to the workplace remotely via video conferencing has made it easier for people to enjoy benefits of a regional lifestyle, while keeping their capital city jobs.”

Queensland’s most expensive

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland’s latest quarterly market overview report noted that the region had the “strongest property market in the state”.

REIQ data shows that the median house price for the Sunshine Coast local government area sits around $605,000, while in Noosa, its nearly $840,000.

REIQ chief executive Antonia Mercorella said Noosa remains Queensland’s most expensive “jewel in the crown” with a median house price of $836,724 and median unit price of $715,000.

“The region is no doubt benefiting from being a domestic holiday location, with an influx of southeast Queenslanders taking place once travel restrictions eased,” Mercorella said.

Across the state, Mercorella says Covid-19 has also accelerated interstate migration into Queensland, adding that predictions are an influx of Sydneysiders and Melburnians will make the move to the Sunshine State once border restrictions are eased.

“Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, Queensland was the number one destination for interstate relocations – particularly from major metropolitan areas such as Sydney and Melbourne.

“As this pandemic continues to affect us all, it’s introduced many of us to the possibility of a ‘new normal’ way of working – that is, remotely from home.

“As a result, interstate demand continues to strengthen in Queensland with the main drawcards being affordability, livability and the lifestyle on offer... [we] anticipate this demand to surge in the coming year ahead as we navigate through to the other side of this pandemic,” Mercorella said.

The data shows the median house price for Brisbane sits at $694,000, and median unit prices were around the $400,500 mark, as of the June quarter.

The median house price at the Gold Coast sits around $630,500, and unit median prices sit around $415,000.

CoreLogic’s quarterly Pain and Gain report, which shows the proportion of properties that are selling for a loss or a gain across the country, shows the portion of loss-making sales increased in six of the eight capital city markets in the three months to June.

The report found 52.1 per cent of sales in Darwin in the June quarter sold at a loss, and 36.2 per cent in Perth, with vendors most likely to record a loss in the resources-hit capital city markets.

The report shows that in Brisbane 14.3 per cent of sales were at a loss, 12.8 per cent in the ACT and Adelaide 9.2 per cent.

Sellers were least likely to make a loss in Hobart at 3.2 per cent, while Melbourne posted 6.9 per cent and Sydney 8.8 per cent.

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