Gold Coast: Boom or bust?

In the aftermath of the Commonwealth Games, we look at the state of the Gold Coast market and where it might go from here.

Whether you enjoyed the hype of the Commonwealth Games and attended some of the events or hid out away from the crowds, there is no denying it was an event to remember. In the wake of the Games, we look back and see if the event followed through on its promise to elevate the Gold Coast to the world stage, which would, in theory, increase the flow of people to the Sunshine State’s second city. We caught up with a few of the Gold Coast’s property insiders to see what effect, if any, the Games had on the property market.

“In the lead up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games the Gold Coast’s residential market performed very well, with the number of house, land, and apartment sales all increasing to post Global Financial Crisis highs,” Paul Broad, Managing Director of Broad Property Research & Advisory, told PropertyMash. With a population of nearly 577,000 permanent residents, the Gold Coast is Australia’s largest city outside of the five mainland state capitals and for the past three decades has been one of the fastest growing major regions in Australia.

Gold Coast Property Market Data 2018

“In 2017, there were a total of 23,327 settled residential sales on the Gold Coast, the highest number since the 27,588 sales recorded in 2007. Median sale prices also reached record highs in the lead-up to the Games. The median sale price of houses sold on the Gold Coast reached $636,000 in 2017. The median sale price of apartments also reached a record high of $420,000 in 2017.” There were several theories around the high sales prices and volumes. “The Commonwealth Games provided an international voice for the Gold Coast and the visuals sent across the globe made this destination a must-see for many people who were unaware of its beauty,” Kevin Doodney, Founder of the Future Housing Taskforce, told PropertyMash. “The impact of this is probably still to come but having the Games has allowed the Gold Coast to mature beyond its teenage years into a destination for all ages.”

Gold Coast Property Market Data 2018

During the Games, locals complained of the Gold Coast suburbs being empty, but the data doesn’t reflect that now, and currently, the residential vacancy rates are extremely tight on the Gold Coast, at just 1.1 percent as at the March quarter of 2018 (Source: REIQ).

“A vacancy rate under three percent suggests a shortfall of suitable rental product. One of the reasons for this tight vacancy rate is the Gold Coast’s high level of population growth,” reports Paul. “In the year to end June 2017 (the latest figures available) the Gold Coast’s population increased by 15,412 permanent residents.” The Gold Coast is the second fastest-growing Local Government Area in Australia, behind only Brisbane City.

Gold Coast Property Market

Now that the Games are over will we see a decline in the property market? It is hard to tell. But the consensus is that the growth in the market has more to do with the increasing population of the Gold Coast, rather than the lead up to the event – so as long as there is job security – the housing market shouldn’t see any negative effects in the fall out of the Games.

“Over the next five to ten years the Gold Coast will continue to be the tourism capital but its emerging industries in innovation, boating, design, film and so many other fields make it open to becoming a Silicon Valley-style creative industry.” – Kevin.

“Overall, the Gold Coast’s property market is buoyant,” said Paul. “With strong demand for both new and established dwellings arising from continued high population growth.” It seems as though the Gold Coast market would have flourished with or without the Commonwealth Games, but it is difficult to know what the effects will be long term. With South-East Queensland thinking of making a bid for the 2032 Olympics, we can’t help but wonder if that will change things.

“I would expect a similar result in terms of increased residential construction if the Gold Coast bids for the Olympics,” predicted Paul. “Along with rising property prices as was evidenced in the lead-up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.”

“Any country that makes a bid for the Olympics gets noticed,” said Kevin. “And if you are a tourism-driven economy getting noticed is important. There are many other factors however that will impact the market as they start to get more innovators and industries on the Gold Coast.”



Written: 11 July 2018, Updated: 15 January 2020

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