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High property prices push families north

BOOMING property prices in some capital cities are forcing families to head north in search of a cheaper home and better lifestyle.

The Brisbane and Gold Coast house markets are offering great prices on well-located properties, with a vast range of stock to choose from.

RP Data’s latest figures show just seven suburbs in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas where median house prices are over $1 million, while the average price is just $495,575.

It is a much different story in Sydney, where a staggering 172 suburbs have a median of $1 million or more and the average price is $806,907

“Over summer, we’ve had a strong influx of Sydney buyers come into the market,” said Larry Malan, principal, Ray White Broadbeach. “Whenever Sydney performs strongly, people come up here with plenty of money and buy property.”

In Broadbeach, three-bedroom penthouse apartments next to the beach start at $429,000. A similar apartment in the Sydney equivalent of Coogee, would set a buyer back $800,000 or more.

“The area represents great value, you can see why Sydney buyers would be interested,” Mr Malan said.

The Gold Coast took a major hit in the wake of the GFC, with values plunging and an excess of supply on the market, but is now strengthening.

“We have been in recovery mode since September and I don’t see the market slowing down for the next few years.” Mr Malan said. “In the $600,000 to $1.2 million bracket, supply is just starting to run low and prices are moving upwards.”

RP Data figures show home values in the Brisbane-Gold Coast market have grown 4.1 per cent in 12 months; are up seven per cent from the market trough, but 5.9 per cent down on the peak; meaning bargains are still available.

Sydney meanwhile is 17.6 per cent up from its market trough, 11.8 per cent up from its previous market peak and has 20,080 properties currently listed for sale; the lowest number since 2008 according to SQM Research.

Brisbane and the Gold Coast have 26,618 and 11,293 properties listed between them, combining for close to double the available stock in Sydney.

Stock levels will keep southeast Queensland more affordable, but values are likely to grow soon, making now one of the best times to buy.

“The south Queensland market is likely to perform this year,” said John McGrath, CEO, McGrath Estate Agents. “What we like to call ‘The Paddington Gap’ is too big for my liking. Paddington in Sydney is a similar suburb to Paddington in Brisbane, but properties in the Sydney Paddington cost up to $1 million more. That gap will start to narrow this year.”

MARCUS and Jen Gyles with twins Angus and Sophia (3), at their newly purchased home in the Tallebudgera Valley. Picture: Jono Searle. Source:News Corp Australia

Marcus and Jennifer Gyles moved to the Gold Coast recently for work and could not believe the difference in affordability.

They sold their small two-bedroom home in Marrickville for $800,000 and bought a house in the Gold Coast’s south with 3000 times the land, for $50,000 less.

“Our Marrickville home was tiny and unrenovated, on a 120 sqm block,” Mr Gyles said. “Here, we bought a three-bedroom house, with three car ports and a work shop; on three hectares of land.”

The family immediately wondered why they did not make the move sooner.

“The lifestyle we can afford here is extraordinary,” Mr Gyles said. “I get home at night and can’t see any other houses from my house, yet in 15 minutes I can be at Burleigh Heads, one of the best beaches in the world. I didn’t think this sort of lifestyle was available anywhere when I lived in Sydney.”

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