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Nambour tipped to be the next Sunshine Coast sensation

Tristan Brown and John Tobin celebrating a $1 million sale
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Tristan Brown (left) and John Tobin celebrate the first $1 million-plus sale in Nambour's history. Photo: RE/MAX Property Sales

Nambour tipped to be the next Sunshine Coast sensation

Often passed over in favour of more famous locations such as Mooloolaba and Maroochydore, the Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Nambour is emerging as a hotbed of property investment as intense buyer competition pushes prices up to record highs.

Often passed over in favour of more famous locations such as Mooloolaba and Maroochydore, the Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Nambour is emerging as a hotbed of property investment as intense buyer competition pushes prices up to record highs.

Local agent Tristan Brown, a director at RE/MAX Property Sales, said Nambour had historically failed to capture the buyer enthusiasm of other locations on the Sunshine Coast, but that was starting to change.

Data from CoreLogic showed the median house price rose 32 per cent in Nambour over the 12 months to the end of August, to reach a record $552,816.

Median unit prices also increased sharply over that time, rising in value by 25 per cent to reach $354,475.

Mr Brown said the biggest catalyst for that price growth was the relative affordability of properties in Nambour, which had been complemented by a significant lift in infrastructure investment, including an $86 million upgrade of the local hospital.

“Affordability is always a big driver,” Mr Brown told Australian Property Investor Magazine.

“People are getting squeezed out of the coastal suburbs like Maloolaba and Maroochydore, and they are starting to come over to the other side of the highway in search of value and bigger land parcels. 

“Once they actually venture over to this side they are actually understanding that the lifestyle is fantastic. 

“Nambour used to be the hub of the Sunshine Coast, a long time ago. 

“After the closures of some industry and the sugar mills, and obviously the opening of the coastal suburbs, it sort of got left behind.

“What we’ve noticed now is there is a bit of infrastructure coming back in and there’s been a bit of investment predominantly driven by land development. 

“A lot of young families, young professionals and purchasers with discretionary income have decided to live here and commute over to the coast for work.”

Somewhat paradoxically, however, Mr Brown said a recent sale that cracked the $1 million mark for the first time in Nambour had been a key turning point for the town.

Mr Brown said there was intense buyer competition for the property, which ended up selling for $1.2 million.

“Nambour had never had a residential property sold at the million dollar price point or above,” he said.

“It’s always been a psychological barrier, there is definitely property in the area that was probably worth it and there was no question that the home was worth the price, the number one objection was whether the suburb warranted it - did people want to find themselves in that particular suburb and pay that kind of money?

“Ultimately we handled the objections quite well and demonstrated the benefits of Nambour because we had 10 offers on that home and eight of them were in excess of $1 million. 

“Since then we have got another two properties, one sold in the low $900,000s, and another one will probably end up transacting north of $1 million again.

“It’s one of those psychological barriers, we think now that it’s been cracked it will open the floodgates for a lot of other high-end homes to achieve that pricing.”

Mr Brown said like many other locations in South East Queensland that had surged over the past 12 months, that potential for price growth was piquing the interest of an increasing number of investors.

“Nambour has always been like many other entry level suburbs, where from an investor’s point of view you always look to generate high yields, but you’ve had to temper that with very little growth,” he said. 

“What we are seeing at the moment is fantastic, because investors are getting those high yields, but it’s been matched with high growth, and that’s because there is so much competition. 

“We are actually seeing investors paying as much as owner-occupiers.

“When we list a property usually you would expect the investors to be a little bit on the skinny side when offering prices, but we’re often finding a lot of investors being successful with a purchase. 

“Which is great, that gives us confidence that they are seeing value in the area and they think that there is potential for growth ahead as well.”

And Mr Brown said he expected strong gains to continue, with the availability of properties for sale not quite matching up with the number of buyers active in the region.

“It would be reckless of me to make any claims or any projections, as real estate agents we tend to focus on the here and now and we do the best we can, but the indicators including numbers at open homes, general enquiry levels and a lack of stock out there at the moment, everything points to continued growth in prices,” he said.

“Which is scary, because don’t get me wrong, we’re in the industry and we’re here to get our sellers to help everybody make money, but there has to still be that human element, and Nambour as an entry level suburb is going through that transition and that struggle between the excitement of increasing prices being tempered by housing affordability.

“I think real estate agents are in for a difficult six months when it comes to stock levels, because the majority of people have got nowhere to go. 

“They might sell, and they might get a great price, but being an entry level suburb it’s very hard. 

“Where do you downsize to, because you have got to step into a location or another suburb that’s generally considered superior?

“The only advantage is for people who are looking to relocate for work or are looking to move north or further rural.

“I think things are going to be extremely tightly held for the next few months.”

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