Lifestyle a lure for some heavy hitters
COMMERCIAL and residential property in the Sunshine Coast is going gangbusters as the state’s booming economy continues to attract people and investment from within Australia and all over the world.
Soaring population numbers have inspired massive new infrastructure projects including roads, ports, schools and hospitals. And commercial space is being gobbled up. Currently, there are around 7364 sq metres of unoccupied space on the Sunshine Coast compared to 23,496 on the Gold Coast.
The Sunshine Coast is a major economic centre in South East Queensland and is seen as the base for a number of key industries including, retail, construction and accommodation and food services,’’ says Helen Swanson, commercial research manager with Colliers International.’’
Several infrastructure projects are currently in planning or construction stage to support the expected economic growth in the area.’’
Among the most highly anticipated of these are major plans to solve the notorious traffic problems afflicting Caloundra.
Ms Swanson says that she expects the Sunshine State’s commercial and residential property market to grow at around 20 percent for the next few years.
The Sunshine Coast is one of the strongest population growth centres in Queensland and in 2007 the area experienced robust construction and tourism sectors, strong jobs growth, growing median house prices and record commercial and industrial sales,’’ she says.
In addition, record sale and leasing prices in Brisbane for both commercial and industrial property is enticing new players to the Sunshine Coast market keen to take advantage of the Coast’s plans for improved infrastructure and development plans.’’
International companies, especially those from Asia, are looking increasingly to Queensland and the Sushine Coast for their Australian offices.
From what I’ve heard, speaking to Asians, is that there’s starting to be a presence of firms looking to enter because of the infrastructure and the lifestyle,’’ Ms Swanson explains.
Recruiters from overseas are reporting this.’’
According to the Queensland Government’s Planning Information and Forecasting Unit, the population of the Sunshine Coast is expected to grow by up to 2.9 percent over the next 10 years.
Its labour force grew 8 percent last year, while international and domestic visitors increased by 7 and 12 percent respectively for the year ending June, 2007.
Commercial property sales totaled a record $ 158 million for the year ending March 2007. Retail also performed strongly with big deals including Melbourne’s Pelicano Group purchasing Central One on Plaza Parade, Maroochydore last December for $ 11m which included 1964sqm of retail space on the 5157sqm site.
In addition, Caloundra’s city fringe continues to achieve record prices with a 1760sqm site on Omrah Ave selling for $ 1.8 million.
The site provided the opportunity to redevelop 3520sqm of mixed use space.’’
Further north, a 203sqm retail shop in Noosa Hastings Street changed hands for $ 3.425 million, representing an initial yield of approximately 5.6 percent late last year.
And Kawana Waters is belting along with a major new road corridor and new hospital.
A major new tourist development including surf club is in progress. Stockland also has a major development on the table. There’s also talk of a 15- storey tower as well as new sporting precinct. Real estate agents are also touting Sippy Downs as a key area to watch.
New benchmarks are being set on the industrial real estate front in Coolum with a number of warehouse deals in the industrial area notching up between $ 275 per square metre and $ 280 per square metre. In Kunda Park, prices are averaging between $ 300 and $ 350 per square metre.
Last October, a 400sqm warehouse building at Moffat Beach on a 675sqm site sold for $ 555,000 and an industrial property sold last December for $ 1,690,225, achieving $ 425 per sqm. Warehouse rents are also pushing on average above $ 100 per square metre in the Maroochydore and Caloundra areas.
Collier’s Ms Swanson says that these two areas stand to benefit greatly from new transport infrastructure:
‘‘ It will end congestion between Caloundra and Maroochydore. Caloundra is the corridor of growth, it and Kawana Waters.’’
Ms Swanson notes also that building approvals for Caloundra have risen sharply over the last few years:
‘‘ It’s the only area where there is available land to be developed not far from the coast.
This is all bringing growth and changing the stigmas with Caloundra and Kawana.’’
Reports from both places are that of a changing demographic from retirees and holidays makers to a new generation of young families and professionals. And it’s still possible to buy a three- bedroom home in Kawana Waters without entering mortgage hell.
With basic property fundamentals in place the Sunshine Coast looks to continue to entice both individuals and businesses to its prospering coastal precincts,’’ says Ms Swanson.