The Tweed Coast and southern Gold Coast have emerged among the year’s regional hotspots, with investors eyeing attractive annual returns on new property in the high-demand markets, according to local industry experts.
Impressive population growth and strong investment on improved infrastructure is driving the reinvigoration of the region, as people increasingly shun the major cities in favour of an attractive coastal lifestyle and more affordable housing.
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Local property expert John Rankin, of Armstrong Real Estate, has reported a surge in buyer interest and fast sales for new and off-the-plan properties, particularly throughout the northern growth corridor of Tweed Heads to Coolangatta.
“The local economy has been flat for the last five years or so since the GFC, but prices have well and truly bottomed out and we are now seeing a far greater sales volume,” Mr Rankin said.
“Stock is at an absolute premium, and we expect to see booming price growth in the New Year. We are seeing demand outstripping supply, particularly in the lower to mid price brackets, with buyers in search of quality new apartments with all the inclusions and associated tax benefits in favour of older, established properties.
“It is these sorts of new properties that are proving attractive for a broader demographic, including students, young professionals and families who are looking to enjoy the many attractions of the Tweed Coast and Southern Gold Coast as a place to live and work.”
Mr Rankin said historically low interest rates, forecast population growth of nearly 40 per cent by 2036 and initiatives to boost local employment were creating new opportunity in the region, which was poised to attract a wider demographic than the retirees who traditionally made the sea change from larger centres.
“This region is a very special place with a far more laidback lifestyle than Brisbane, or even further north on the Gold Coast,” he said.
“We are spoiled with the beautiful hinterland and beaches, and local communities that have kept their unique identities, yet still positioned within easy access of the bigger centres of Surfers Paradise or Brisbane, or the tourist attractions of Byron Bay or Lennox Head.”
But while demand for quality, new housing showed no signs of abating and new developments were selling out fast from Casuarina in the south to Reedy Creek in the north throughout 2015, Mr Rankin said few new projects were planned for suburbs bordering the Gold Coast.
Recent local infrastructure investment such as the Tugun M1 Pacific Motorway bypass, which drastically cut transit times to the Gold Coast, as well as major upgrades planned for Southern Cross University’s Coolangatta campus and the extension of the Gold Coast Airport, has also highlighted demand for new development.
Southern Cross University Built Infrastructure Manager David Hadley said groundwork would commence this month on the construction of a third building at the campus, which would accommodate an increase of 1000 students by 2020 and be completed early 2017.
With a forecast student population of 4000 and no provisions for on-campus housing, the university manages an accommodation service that directs students to available off-site private property, creating an excellent opportunity for investors in nearby developments, with students currently paying up to $300 per week for just one room.
“We are seeing rapid growth for both the southern end of the Gold Coast and the Northern Rivers regions, which both feed into our campus, and because of the growth of those two regions we have seen significant and rapid growth for our campus as well,” Mr Hadley said.
“With the construction of the proposed Building C and an additional 505 car spaces, we are making provisions for our forecast growth in both domestic and international students, and certainly any extra accommodation that is available close by is going to be snaffled up by students.”
Other initiatives to bolster the local economy, such as the reinvigoration of Tweed City Centre as a business hub and planned redevelopment of the Tweed Hospital, were also paying dividends in increased employment, with the Richmond-Tweed area gaining 7,300 new jobs in the 12 months to September 2015, placing it among the country’s strongest performing regional areas.
Mr Rankin said all pointed towards an investment opportunity not to be missed for those looking to invest in the southern market.
“With few new developments planned for the area, new apartment projects such as Summerville, which is strategically positioned within 10 minutes from the Uni and just five minutes from Gold Coast Airport, are poised to tap into this demand for accommodation that is not only close to everything, but is well designed and includes all the modern conveniences,” Mr Rankin said.
“We are already fielding steady enquiry for sales at Summerville, and expect these types of properties to report strong returns as areas such as Tweed Heads and Coolangatta experience huge growth and low rental vacancy rates over the next 5 to 10 years.”
Summerville, the latest development from Ressen Property Group, will see a nine-level residential apartment development, combining elegant style and modern urban architecture, representing true synergy with its beautiful coastal surrounds.
Ressen project director Brian Kim said the $24 million development was created in response to demand for quality, new apartment living in the region, and was ideally suited to lifestyle-minded owner-occupiers as well as investors.
“Summerville is strategically positioned at the very epicentre of Australia’s east coast growth corridor of Tweed Heads, where we have witnessed a shift towards a more discerning, cosmopolitan demographic who are seeking modern, sophisticated apartment living, but without having to compromise on space,” Mr Kim said.
With construction slated to begin early 2016, the development will comprise a total of 43 apartments, including one, two, three and four bedroom residences, when completed in mid 2017.