Gold Coast Housing Market Insights: December 2021

The Urban Developer’s latest Gold Coast housing market insights reveals the city’s median house price is quickly nearing the $1-million mark.

This resource, updated periodically, will collate and examine the economic levers pushing and pulling the Gold Coast’s housing market.

Combining market research, rolling indices and expert market opinion, this evolving hub will act as a pulse check for those wanting to take a closer look at the movements across the market.

Gold Coast median property prices % change 

Type Month Quarter Annual Median
All 2.8%▲ 8.2%▲ 31.9%▲ $788,866▲
Houses 3.2%▲ 9.0%▲ 35.1%▲ $966,543▲
Units 1.9%▼ 6.6%▼ 26.0%▲ $582,521▲

^Source: Corelogic – December 2021

Gold Coast housing prices grew almost four times as much as expected this past year, with prices set to rise further amid fresh predictions it, along with neighbouring Brisbane, will outperform all other Australian capitals in 2022.

Queensland’s second-largest city has truly surpassed expectations of a dwelling price rise of 8 per cent in 2021, instead notching a 30.4 per cent jump off increased interstate migration, low stock and heightened demand.

The Gold Coast’s house prices have increased by a staggering 35.1 per cent in the past year, with the median price now $966,000.

December’s bump in dwelling prices was a modest increase from the previous month, when dwelling values grew at a rate of 2.7 per cent.

House price growth has also seen an uptick and unit prices have lost some momentum after lifting by 2.8 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively in November.

According to Corelogic, property values on the Gold Coast rose 2.8 per cent in November—the second biggest increase of any capital city, behind Brisbane—to be up almost 32 per cent over the year.

Hot spots such as Mermaid Waters, Miami, Burleigh, Bundall and Mermaid Beach collected the biggest quarterly and annual price rises, which has led to a series of record-setting sales.

The current median value for a property is now $788,000, and has further advanced an additional $8,000 during December.

A typical Gold Coast house is now about $287,000 more expensive than it was at the beginning of January, 2021, while units have experienced a gain of $163,000.

The Coolangatta region claimed the biggest quarterly price rise with 12.1 per cent, which pushed the median house price to $1.15 million.

Further north, the prestige pocket of Mermaid Beach became the Gold Coast’s first suburb with a $2-million median after an eye-watering 32.4 per cent annual lift to $2.07 million.

Next door—in the fast-rising market of Mermaid Waters—units won gold on the annual price rise podium after a jaw-dropping 47.5 per cent increase to a median of $635,000.

Houses prices in nearby Miami, the report also revealed, surged 44 per cent over the same period to $1.2 million, while in Bundall they shot up 34.7 per cent to $1.4 million.

Across the city, the overall median house price increased by a more subdued 1.9 per cent to $820,000—indicating the growth cycle might have passed its peak—while units collected a stronger 4.9 per cent rise to push prices up by $25,000 to $535,000.

Gold Coast’s housing market: policy updates and trends

Construction costs soar amid labour and material shortage

The costs of building and renovating a home have surged by 3.8 per cent nationwide in the three months to September—more than four times the consumer price index of 0.8 per cent during the same period.

Over the year, residential construction costs have jumped by 7.1 per cent—the highest annual increase in more than 16 years, as the surge in new builds and renovations coincided with the disruptions to supply chains and a shortage of materials and labour.

Gold Coast housing supply constrained

According to the REIQ, there is only 1.9 year’s worth of approved housing lot supply left on the Gold Coast.

The Queensland government maintains that, according to its Land Supply and Development Monitoring Report, there is more than 15 years’ worth of greenfield land supply.

Price gap luring investment back to apartments

The doorbell is ringing again as institutional property players from near and far increasingly look to dig deeper foundations in Australia’s $9-trillion housing market.

And with the gap between detached and attached housing prices widening to record levels, the welcome mat is well and truly back out in the nation’s apartment sector.

What the experts are saying about the Gold Coast’s housing market

Nicola Powell
Chief of Research

“What we’ve seen is much stronger rates of growth in south-east Queensland—has been this shift in migration.

“That adds to the fact that it offers lifestyle and job prospects as well as the Olympics (in 2032) and all the infrastructure projects that are being completed.

“That’s going to continue to put demand on housing, particularly when you put it on the backdrop of the fact that house price growth has gone sideways for a number of years.”

Andrew Bell
Chief Executive
Ray White Surfers Paradise

“I think with the Gold Coast, history tells us that markets have their strong surge and then they do take a strong breather.

“It’s essential to allow people to catch up, so I suspect in 2022 we’ll see a softening of the intensity of the real estate market but the demand will be ahead of where it’s been for many, many years.

“But you’ll also find buyers will say they won’t pay any more and we’ll get pushback and I think that’s healthy because if you keep blowing up a balloon essentially it will burst.”

Eliza Owen
Head of Research

“In the short term what is most likely is we will still see demand for regional Australia because of the sheer affordability compared to capital cities.

“Longer term, I would expect most of the housing market will move into the downswing phase.

“With affordability stretched and interest rate rises on the horizon, the consensus was for more modest house price growth in 2022.”

David Higgins
Residential Director
Colliers International

“The past 18 months have been nothing short of incredible on the Gold Coast, but what’s even more promising is that our data suggests this boom still has a fair kick to it.

“We expect the city’s population to continue its rapid ascent once the borders are opened and with that will come an even stronger demand than what we’ve already witnessed.

“Fortunately, the developers on the coast have become remarkably adept at delivering a large volume of high-quality projects catered to the markets needs, and we expect to see this climb into the new year ahead.”

Gold Coast housing market forecasts

ANZ has tipped house prices to jump by 9 per cent next year in south-east Queensland before falling by 4 per cent in 2023 as the post-pandemic boom cools.

CBA now expects house prices across south-east Queensland to increase by 9 per cent next year before plunging by 8 per cent in 2023 when the Reserve Bank ramps up interest rates.

NAB is forecasting house prices across south-east Queensland to rise by 5 per cent over across 2022 as impact of low rates and strong income support begin to fade.

Westpac has also updated its property forecasts, with south-east Queensland real estate prices tipped to surge 10 per cent between 2022 before dialling back -1 per cent in 2023.

Week Clearance rate Total Auctions
Week ending 5 December 2021 59.8% 123
Week ending 12 December 2021 54.6% 99
Week ending 19 December 2021 59.8% 108
Week ending 26 December 2021 N/A N/A

^Source: Corelogic – December 2021

That emphasis on space at a bargain price compared to Sydney and Melbourne has increased interstate buyer activity in key Gold Coast suburbs by three-fold.

Tugun, Mermaid Waters, Robina and Carrara are now four of the fastest-growing suburbs on the Gold Coast, after nearby suburbs Miami, Burleigh Heads, Tallebudgera and Bundall all posted price growth of up to 38 per cent in a year.

Houses in Miami climbed to $1.06 million after the suburb experienced 38.5 per cent annual growth, while in Bundall, house prices shot up by 32.5 over the same period to $1.37 million.

Tallebudgera and Burleigh Heads each posted house price rises of just over 30 per cent to reach $1.2 million and $1.11 million while Mermaid Beach climbed close to the $2 million mark, rising by 17.9 per cent to $1.91 million.

Meanwhile, in Tugun, house prices rose almost 25 per cent to $880,000, and by 5.7 per cent in Robina to $713,500.

In Mermaid Waters, house prices jumped 28.7 per cent to $1.06 million and, in Carrara, by 16.6 per cent to $642,000—leaving plenty of room for significant growth as stock levels remain tight and southern eyes increasingly look north to the sun-drenched city.

City Vacancy rate Monthly change Vacancies Net change
Gold Coast 0.7% -0.3%▼ 292▼ -125▼

^Source: SQM Research – December 2021

There has been a minor stabilisation of vacancy rates on the Gold Coast, but the rental market remains excessively tight with concerns easing border restrictions could prompt a new wave of migration.

The city’s rental crisis has worsened to a point where it is now more expensive to rent a house on the Gold Coast than in Sydney, and the chronic shortage of available properties could last for at least three years, experts say.

The median asking rent for houses on the Gold Coast has jumped to $796 a week in December, compared to $734 in Sydney, according to recent SQM Research data.

Gold Coast house rents shot up by 5 per cent over the past three months with the city also collecting its greatest annual rate of growth—22.9 per cent—since records began in 2004.

Unit rents also rose 13.6 per cent over the year and 4.2 per cent over the quarter, the strongest rate of annual growth since 2007.

Gold Coast rent prices

Type Rent Monthly % change Annual % change
Houses $796.00 0.8%▲ 23.6%▲
Units $532.00 3.5%▲ 12.2%▲

^Source: SQM Research – December 2021

As people across the nation struggle to secure a home with house prices continuing to go through the roof, one city’s demand is thrashing others.

Rental costs for all dwellings on the Gold Coast rose by 20.2 per cent, while house rental prices jumped a whopping 27 per cent, and the price to live in a high-rise got 17 per cent higher.

The median average rental price for a Gold Coast house is currently $796 per week, while in Sydney it is $722.

The median average rental price for a Gold Coast unit is $532 per week, while in Sydney it is $473.

Queensland building approvals

Dwelling Approved Monthly % change
Houses 2198▼ 7.4%▲
Units 3581▲ 20.0%%▲

^Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics – November 2021

The Gold Coast is one of Queensland’s fastest-growing regions, with its population increasing from 500,000 to more than 600,000 residents in the past decade.

Between 2011 and 2016, the population in the northern suburbs jumped by 31 per cent to more than 74,000 people after the construction of sprawling housing estates.

Between 2016 and 2019, the number of dwelling approvals within the Gold Coast’s greenfield expansion area exceeded state government expectations by 18 per cent.

With an additional 350,000 new Gold Coast residents expected by 2041, the state government has estimated at least 31,000 new dwellings would be needed on greenfield sites, found mostly in the region’s north.

According to the REIQ, there is only 1.9 years’ worth of approved housing lot supply left on the Gold Coast.

Queensland home loan lending indicators 

Type Aug 2021 ($bn) Monthly % change
New loan commitments for owner occupier housing 3.81 -3.7%▼
New loan commitments for investor housing 2.10 8.8%▲
New loan commitments to first home buyers 2.42 -6.2%▼

^Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics – October 2021

Relatively restriction-free Queensland recorded the strongest growth in investor demand this year, up 13.4 per cent over the month of August.

Investor loan commitments reached about $1.85 billion across the four weeks according to Australian Bureau of Statistics lending indicators as buyers look to snap up a potential oceanfront property.

At $9.4 billion, investor loan commitments nationally across the month were at their highest level in dollar terms since April 2015, about the last time the prudential regular was forced to step in and cool the housing market.

The average owner-occupier home loan is up $76,000, or about 15 per cent, for the year, while the average dipped for most states in August.

The value of investor lending in August was almost double that of 2020. But in contrast to 2015, when investors made up about 50 per cent of the value of loan commitment, the present portion is just below 30 per cent.

But despite growing demand from investors, owner-occupier commitments remained elevated above long-run levels and totalled $21 billion over the reporting period.

Queensland interstate migration

State Arrivals Departures Net change
Queensland 28,500▼ 21,465▲ 7035▼

^Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics – March 2021

Since September 2020, over 10 per cent of capital city residents migrating to regional areas have moved to the Gold Coast, making it the most popular destination in the country.

With a population of roughly 3.7 million, Queensland’s south-east is Australia’s fastest-growing zone.

The Gold Coast and south-east Queensland were direct beneficiaries of Victoria’s extended lockdown last year, with a dramatic population shift north.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data for June revealed Victoria’s population fell by 12,700 while the number of interstate migration to Queensland increased by 30,000, or 2 per cent.

Before the pandemic, Gold Coast city planners were working to a framework that the population would reach a million by 2041, delivering 6000 dwellings for approximately 15,000 new arrivals per annum.

Queensland’s population is now expected to surge by more than a quarter of a million people in the next four years, according to forecasts in the federal budget, as people continue to flood in from other states.

Additional forecasts suggest it will top 5 million by the middle of the next decade.

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