Unit prices expected to lift
WHILE the home market on the Sunshine Coast is very strong, when it comes to units, the latest data tells a slightly less impressive story.
However, experts say the unit market will follow the path of houses and present strong figures in coming months and years.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland’s Market Monitor report says the supply of units on the Sunshine Coast increased 6.4% for the 12 months to May 2017 – although it says this is not a concern as listing volumes for the Sunshine Coast fell 12.9% from February to May this year, revealing a seasonal supply increase rather than a sustainable increase.
The REIQ’s figures reveal the median unit price for the most recent quarter was $385,000, down slightly (3.6%) on the previous quarter, up 3.3% on last year, and up just 15.7% on five years before.
Luke Carter, of Harcourts Caloundra, believes negative media surrounding the unit markets in Sydney and Melbourne have made buyers a little wary, but says he is still seeing solid sales.
“The stories around the oversupply of units in those capital cities definitely has an impact on perception of the unit market,” Mr Carter said.
“But here in Caloundra, there is actually a shortage of owner/occupier units.
“There was a definite upswing in the housing market in January and February this year, and I have seen up to 20% price growth since then. The unit market tends to follow that. A lot of wealthier clients who are living in these big houses here want to downsize from houses to units, but owners have been waiting for house prices to improve before they purchase a unit.
“While our unit market is still reasonably weak, it is definitely strengthening.
“From an investment perspective, we still have units here on the Sunshine Coast under $300,000 that are going to give a 5% yield. I’m surprised they haven’t walked out the door, and I do attribute that to the negative press surrounding the unit market in our capital cities.”
REIQ Sunshine Coast zone chair Amber Werchon, principal of Amber Werchon Property, says: “Units are sitting on the market slightly longer than houses, with an average of 57 days to reach a sale.”
Overall, Ms Werchon says Alexandra Headland is a standout if looking at the five-year figures.
“It continues as a benchmark due to its location and significant rebuilding. Buderim continues to perform well with 107 sales (overall) for the June quarter, more than any other suburb,” she said.
“Some areas around the Sunshine Coast have dipped over the past quarter, however, overall the market is performing very well if you look at the long-term figures.
“There is a lot of confidence in this region, which is driving significant levels of investment. The Sunshine Coast market is very buoyant on the back of massive public and private infrastructure investment being made.”