Entrance Island, Birtinya
Entrance Island, Birtinya

What a year 2016 proved to be

St Martins Tce, Buderim
St Martins Tce, Buderim

Lloyd Edwards, Ray White Buderim

The start of 2016 was seen by many as the year of the sold sign. It seemed like they were everywhere. As quickly as the for sale sign went up they were quickly swamped by a sold sticker. Of course the vast majority of homes sold, were within reach of the average buyers but where were the high end buyers? They were waiting, weighting up the market before pouncing in the second half of the year. Twelve sales over $1million dollars in my marketing place of Buderim in the last three months of 2016 as an example. So what will 2017 be known as for the high end?

The signs are there that this coming year will be defined by supply with huge numbers of buyers through open homes and only limited property numbers to consider. Definite signs of high demand and short supply has meant that sellers are now showing their confidence with truly special high-end properties coming to the market. Properties like 15 St. Martins Tce in Buderim; possibly one of the biggest and best residences I have seen in my real estate career. The quality of the finish, the volume and that ocean view over an elevated pool means the owner had to pick the right time to market and that time they decided is now. Is this the start of the high end recovery or has it already started in the middle of 2016? Either way 2017 is going to be driven by supply.

Other factors will also reduce supply in the high end. Take the acreage areas around Jorl Crt, Buderim, where re-development has meant that acreage homes have become townhouses close to the University. If you want acreage close to the private schools, then your possible selection has been reduced by up to 40% in recent years. Again this will add pressure to an already tight marketplace.

This pressure will continue over the next few years as the population growth driven into the area by large projects like the SCU Hospital, Aura, Palmview, Sunshine Plaza and the airport expansions. Blocks will get smaller, home builders will get smarter design but the high end buyer will be always be here, their choices will be limited and there is an opportunity here for the astute seller to capitialise on this part of the cycle. And so 2017 has to have the title of the year of high end opportunity.

Grant Smith, principal Century 21 Grant Smith Property

In 2016 Century 21 Grant Smith Property marketed a number of properties that were incomplete or required extensive work to make them habitable.

"It was extremely interesting to market these homes,” director Grant Smith said. "As they are uninhabitable it posed potential issues for financing and insuring the properties.

"These properties are difficult to price position due to lack of comparable data so we utilised the same formula on all three sales. This was to publically auction all three with no conditional offers accepted prior to.

"Each property attracted far more interest than our standard properties for sale, this ultimately draws down to the fact that each property in its own merit was an opportunity for the right buyer.”

Spurred along with strong campaigns, each property attracted between six and 14 registered bidders, an exceptional number of cash buyers in any market.

All three sold above their reserve prices which were set based on market and buyer feedback. All successful buyers were locals and they came from various sources, with print proving beneficial.

"The termite house, deemed uninhabitable by the insurance company and likely to be knocked down was purchased by local builder Muir Developments and has been completely renovated and extended, with all damage repaired.

"The unfinished dream home in Tommys Ct, Buderim, sold $50,000 above reserve by Russell Dell from our new projects division. The buyer intends to finish the dream as a project as does the purchaser of Dakara Ct, an unfinished Balinese renovation.

"Properties sitting outside the box require creative marketing and the right agent, and the flow on last year saw Century21 sell a few of these homes with overflows of buyers, and a surprising volume of new buyers.

"Our experience shows that with the cost of building, buyers are excited by the opportunities of an unfinished property. We may see a few of these properties come back to market, however surprisingly it was, the investors won out in all three auctions.”

Amber Werchon, director Amber Werchon Property

2016 was an extremely positive year for the Sunshine Coast property market. In a review of land sales it is clear there has been increased interest and record sales in the prestigious land market; for example, waterfront development; 'Entrance Island'.

These level half acre blocks located in a private and secure gated community bring a whole new meaning to waterfront living on the Sunshine Coast.

Achieving an average sale price of more than $1m per block, reflects the dramatic increase in buyer confidence, that has been driven by the positive economic conditions on the Sunshine Coast and the impact of the large infrastructure projects currently underway.

These include the $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital (only 700m from Entrance Island itself), surrounding health hub and Oceanside development, Maroochydore Town Centre and the proposed redevelopment of Maroochydore Airport.

Buyers are in awe of the lifestyle that Entrance Island provides with it's prime location and a once in a lifetime opportunity to own level waterfront land within walking distance of the beach and one of the largest health hubs of the southern hemisphere.

With the Sunshine Coast University Hospital nearing completion and employing a total of 6,500 staff, we have seen a number of the Entrance Island blocks sold to health professionals moving to the area from Brisbane, North Queensland, Sydney and New Zealand. However, initially local buyers were attracted to the physical size of these level half acre lots starting at 2000sqm and the surrounding walkways, parks, bike-ways and recreational facilities, along with the lake where families can safely swim, sail, kayak, and enjoy all that coastal living has to offer!

With 17 original lots, only three remain.

While many purchasers have seen the potential for huge capital gain in such a prestigious development, and some are holding their blocks as an investment, construction is now underway on four lots allowing people to visualise their ideal lifestyle on Entrance Island. There has already been one re-sale on the Island which was a recent record sale for Birtinya waterfront.

According to the latest REIQ Quarterly Market Report, the Sunshine Coast has now been identified as one of the state's key growth regions, with significant ongoing infrastructure projects injecting money into the local economy and creating employment opportunities; 2017 is shaping up to be an even better year.

Vicki Stewart, principal Stewart Property

Kawana Island, right in the heart of the Sunshine Coast, has become one of our favourite areas to sell.

We have made some long-term friendships with both our buyers and sellers. What a fabulous part of the Coast to retire to or bring up your family.

We first began our association with Kawana Island when a well-known developer approached our office looking for help to move some apartments he'd had on the market for some time.

Utilising our in-house data base of qualified buyers as well as using print media and internet marketing, we had his properties sold in no time.

Since then he has come back to us again and again, and thanks to our success, other sellers have appointed us to sell their homes, and the ball is still rolling. Kawana Island has been a huge success story for us.

Homes on Kawana Island attract a lot of activity, and continue to sell well. Homes offering 4bed,2bath,2car, sell from $650,000 plus and stock levels are very low, resulting in the 'days on market' becoming less and less. In fact a good home, well presented and well-priced can sell within a fortnight.

Where we have seen the major activity has been in the apartment sales with some record prices being set.

To give you an example, in that time frame, we have sold

ST. KITTS DOUBLE BAY: We have had 23 units sales ranging in prices from $490,000 through to $1m and we've seen prices increase in that time by around 20%.

A majority of buyers are owner occupiers, as opposed to investors, which has been interesting, as they all offer 3,2,2, and a majority are waterfront.

LEEWARD APARTMENTS: We've completed seven sales, mostly to investors, ranging from $400,000 to $550,000.

We are seeing prices rise in Leward, more slowly, but in the right direction.

OCEAN REACH APARTMENTS: It'ss just coming into its own, the grounds are incredible and we are seeing more activity than ever, and when you consider you can buy a spacious 3,2,2 apartment on the water for the low to mid $500,000s you can understand why.

AZURE: Flourishing in the investor market with prices rising, sales in this complex range from $315,000 for 2,2, with a spacious balcony through to $510,000 for a townhouse with private courtyard.

ISLAND QUAYS: Popular with owner occupiers and investors, we've completed seven sales here with prices from $480,000 to $600,000 for a 3,2 waterfront apartment.

The facilities feature a tennis court and pools. The complex is also pet friendly so you can see why this complex is so popular.

In total, in that time frame, we have sold over $25m worth of stock, just in apartments, and are currently negotiating three more.

Kawana Island is well worth looking at as your preferred part of the Sunshine Coast for living the perfect coastal lifestyle.

Greg Clarke of Ray White Mooloolaba

Unit properties on the Sunshine Coast in good locations are realising a resurgence in popularity compared to the previous four years.

Building appeal, location, views, and lifestyle are important factors for the genuine buyer.

Reducing the number of safe options for overseas holidaying and the lower value of the Aussie dollar, many people choose the Sunshine Coast as a holiday destination with not only the safety aspect, but also value for money. Resort managements are seeing strong growth and returns for their owners.

Increased interest and subsequent sales in the unit market shows an increase of between 5% and 10% in volume and price.

I've recently sold six units in Sebel, Maroochydore from $510,000 for a 2,2,1, through to $700,000 for a 2,2,2, penthouse.

Three units in Aqua Vista sold for between $645,000 and $865,000 a piece.

While we've seen less than satisfactory results in the past, we now view a positive forecast with the number and value of recent sales in buildings such as the Sebel and Aqua Vista.

I currently have a rarely opportunity to purchase a penthouse with private rooftop deck and spa. High occupancy rates for those looking for an investment property are evident, with the unit unavailable for an inspection until January 14 due to holiday bookings.

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