Gold Coast still delivering Olympian performances

Gold Coast property prices continue to go for gold, with the Olympics just one factor helping median house prices soar past the million-dollar mark.

Two young happy boys doing hand stands on Gold Coast beach
Gold Coast property investors who bought a year ago are doing cartwheels, but how long can it last? (Image source:

With interstate migration at an all-time high, an undersupply of houses and apartments for buyers and some of the lowest rental vacancy rates the Gold Coast has ever seen, it’s no wonder that median house prices are sitting above the $1 million mark.

Buying a house on the Gold Coast isn’t for the faint-hearted, with SQM Research showing that asking prices for houses are currently sitting at an eye-watering $1,223,496, a fifty per cent increase from 12 months ago.

The laidback Queensland lifestyle has seen more than 30,000 Australians migrate into the state, the largest annual net population gain from interstate migration in more than sixteen years.

Ray White data shows in the last 30 days, more than 21 per cent of Gold Coast auction buyers were from interstate. 

Industry experts are predicting continued growth for the Gold Coast this year, with the Olympics, and continued high buyer and rental demand driving the market.

For aspiring buyers, apartments are the relatively affordable option, with asking prices currently sitting at $598,800, which still represents a 27.5 per cent increase from one year ago.

CoreLogic data shows that the median property price on the Gold Coast is sitting at $966,000, one of the highest in the country.

According to the Australian Housing Outlook Report for 2021–2024, median house price growth is expected to rise by 19 per cent over the next three years.

It was also mentioned that median apartment prices are set to follow a similarly strong pattern as the prospect of returning international travel attracts investors to the market over the next three years.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland CEO Antonia Mercorella weighed in on how high demand and flooding in other areas of the state are impacting prices.

“History has shown that we have a resilient property market and there is still incredible demand for housing, and now a significant proportion of available stock will be taken out of both the sales and rental markets.

“Additionally, unaffected suburbs may attract premium prices due to their ‘safety’ appeal,” she said.

Among the Gold Coast suburbs seeing the biggest increase in median prices over the last twelve months are Coolangatta (46.9 per cent), Mermaid Waters (46.1 per cent) and Mermaid Beach (43.3 per cent).

The Gold Coast also welcomed new arrivals to the coast’s million-dollar median market. According to The McGrath Report 2022, Bonogin currently has a median sale price of $1,300, 000 for a house.

The area’s luxury market is also booming.

Knight Frank’s Prime International Residential Index showed the Gold Coast recorded Australia’s fastest growth in prime property prices (meaning the top 5 per cent of homes in a market) in 2021, posting a 17.1 per cent growth to rank 12th in the world, overtaking Sydney, where prestige property prices rose 16.2 per cent in a year and ranked 17th globally.

Industry experts don’t predict the current momentum that the Gold Coast property market is seeing to end anytime soon.

Real estate agent Troy Dowker, of prestige property agency Kollosche, said buyers were coming from around the world.

“While the rate of price growth may have peaked, we continue to see exceptional price results and high demand due to a combination of factors specific to our market,” Mr Dowker said.

“The laidback beachside lifestyle makes southern Gold Coast suburbs highly desirable and our market represents good value for money for interstate and expatriate buyers.”

Rental shortages

Just like most capital cities in Australia, the Gold Coast is facing an acute rental property supply shortage, with the current vacancy rate sitting at 0.6 per cent.

Antonia Mercorella shared her concerns regarding the low vacancy rates within the rental market.

“The state faces a rental crisis as vacancy rates across all corners of the state reach record lows with more tenants than rental properties getting listed.

“We may actually find that sale prices and rents increase due to diminished stock levels,” she said.  

PropTrack data shows there has been a 17 per cent increase year-on-year in weekly rents, which now sit at a colossal $786 for three-bedroom houses. This is a 20.9 per cent increase from 12 months ago, while apartments at $630 per week have undergone a 28.0 per cent increase.

The Gold Coast has the second-fastest median leasing time in the country, with properties being advertised for only 14 days before being snapped up by renters.

Olympics gold

While the obvious uptake in remote working encouraged a sea change to the Gold Coast for many Australians, the upcoming Olympics is beginning to entice more interstate migration and investors to buy in the area.

The Olympics is already impacting the market, with prices and demand rising for houses within a 10 kilometre radius of the CBD.

Even a burst of negative publicity around some Gold Coast suburbs being named among the worst in the country for coastal erosion that threatens properties appears unlikely to deter buyers, in the short term at least.

Ray White CEO, Jason Andrew, shared his predictions on the Gold Coast market in the build-up to the Olympics.

“The name power of the Olympics is enormous and there is real data that shows that,” he said.

Eleanor Creagh, a Senior Economist at REA Group, shared the same sentiment.  

“It’s likely the Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast markets will remain popular for some time to come.

“While the region is set to benefit from interstate demand, another positive factor will be the infrastructure spending in the run-up to the 2032 Olympic Games.

“As the Games approach, a pipeline of infrastructure investment, transport upgrades and job creation will continue to drive property demand, a positive factor for those regions.”

Andrew Bell, Chief Executive of Ray White Surfers Paradise, said there was no immediate signs of a major downturn.

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

“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.”

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