Of all the property price rises across Australia last year, Queensland’s Sunshine Coast produced some of the most spectacular.
Prices in Minyama soared by 82 per cent in the space of just 12 months. Sunshine Beach, where the sale of a $34 million trophy-home obliterated the Queensland property price record, went up by 50 per cent.
Coolum Beach, Peregian Beach, Buddina, Yaroomba, Cooroibah, Woombye and Warana all rose by more than 40 per cent.
There are now 17 suburbs in the Sunshine Coast region with median house prices of $1 million or more, including Noosa Heads, Coolum Beach and Mooloolaba. Sunshine Beach is just $50 away from becoming Queensland’s first $3 million suburb.
But across the region there are still plenty of suburbs or towns where prices are still relatively affordable, whether you’re dreaming of a house or a unit.
Domain house price data based on annual median house prices up to December 2021 show that while houses close to the beach have become significantly more expensive, there are beachside suburbs where it’s still possible to get in for under $850,000.
Golden Beach at Caloundra, Maroochydore and Currimundi all fall within that price range, although buyers would not be on the beach side of the highway for that price, said Katherine Carter of Harcourts Caloundra.
“The likelihood of us selling anything under $1 million east of the highway is nil, basically,” she said. “Buyers need to look on the western side of the highway – that’s where they’ll get something more affordable and they’re on bigger lots, too.
“They might be a 10-minute drive from the beach but we find that the buyers from interstate aren’t worried about that. They’re used to big beach suburbs like Bondi, where being a 10-minute drive away from the beach is nothing.”
Michael Chapman of Direct Agents said buyers who were priced out of houses along the beachfront should look to inland suburbs where houses were more affordable.
“Buyers are filtering out to these suburbs that have been typically less popular but are now doing well because people are priced out of houses close to the beach,” he said.
“Buyers who have a budget of $850,000 and want the best bang for their buck should look at suburbs like Baringa and Palmview. If they’re getting squeezed out there, I’d also suggest Caloundra West.”
Mr Chapman said interstate buyers were more willing to compromise on suburb and location than local Sunshine Coast buyers.
“Local buyers can be rather embedded in what they want – their non-negotiables are more set in stone than interstate buyers tend to be,” he said. “Sydney and Melbourne buyers are used to travelling 20 to 30 minutes to the beach and that gives them greater flexibility on what they can get on a smaller budget.”
The flow-on effect of increasing house prices was now playing out in the local unit market, Mr Chapman said.
“When houses get to a value that first-home buyers can’t afford, then down the track you see units and townhouses spike – that’s what we’ve really seen happen in the past few months,” he said.
“I was trying to sell units in March, April, May last year and it was so stagnant. Now we can’t hold onto them. I’m getting over 200 inquiries on a single unit.”
For buyers set on an ocean view or a property within walking distance of a beach, for under $850,000 it’s going to be a unit, said Iain Simms of Henzells Agency.
“Anything close to the water at that price is going to be a unit or a townhouse now. The cost of a unit has gone up by 40 to 50 per cent over the past two years,” Mr Simms said.
He recently sold a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit on the Esplanade at Golden Beach for $405,000, which he said was now an entry-level price.
“Two or three years ago it would’ve been worth $250,000. We had five offers on it and it went for a complex record,” he said.
Mr Simms is now selling an oceanfront two-bedroom unit at Golden Beach and asking mid-$600,000s.
“This would be entry-level for a unit of this size in this location,” he said. “But it’s got beautiful views and there’s no road in between the complex and the water.”
Further inland and up the range, Sunshine Coast hinterland towns like Mapleton are still only 30 minutes drive from the beach, which Jo Hutton of Ken Guy Buderim said was their selling point.
“The hinterland is where you’ll get that tree change and still have that access to the coast,” she said.
She recently sold a four-bedroom house on Obi Obi Road for $810,000 just two weeks into a four-week auction campaign, having been overwhelmed with interest.
“A lot of the buyers were coming from Brisbane to get that tree change, or wanting to buy here and rent it out with the plan to tree change in 10 or 15 years time,” she said.
“Properties in the hinterland also really suit people who want an Airbnb. We get a lot of inquiries about that.”
Article Source: www.domain.com.au