Sat. May 28th, 2022

Lockdown-weary buyers who want to flee the city and push housing prices up by the sunshine and gold coast are expected to overtake Brisbane prices within three years.

The Australian Housing Outlook report from BIS Oxford Economics has found that although there was a slight downturn in the real estate market in early 2020, as concerns grew during a new pandemic, it had proved “remarkably resilient” since.

For Queensland, which largely skipped the sluggishness forced on Victoria and New South Wales, it meant a buzz of arrivals between countries.

The report found that although Brisbane’s market is “set to become even stronger”, it would not keep pace with intergovernmental demand for houses on the Gold and Sunshine coasts.

Two male passengers are driving with suitcases in an airport terminal.
Melbourne Airport was quiet during lockdowns, but Victorians are still buying “largely” houses on the Sunshine and Gold Coast.(ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

The average house price in Brisbane is expected to reach $ 806,000 in 2024 — a three-year increase of 18 percent.

“Brisbane will remain relatively affordable compared to Sydney or Melbourne,” the report said.

It also found that the flow of interstate arrivals would help the Queensland capital “prevent a sharp slowdown in momentum” before 2024.

The figures suggest that the average house price on the Sunshine Coast would rise by nearly 19 percent, from $ 830,000 today to $ 986,000 in mid-2024, when several remote workers fled “crowded inner city areas.”

The Gold Coast median house price was expected to rise from $ 815,000 to $ 915,000 three years later.

Average house prices in Toowoomba, Cairns and Townsville are all expected to rise.

Views of the water with surfers in the foreground paddling and the high-rise buildings of Surfers Paradiose in the background
The beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast lure home buyers outside the state.(ABC Gold Coast: Dominic Cansdale)

Sunshine Coast real estate agent Rebecca Capper said the forecasts for the regions exceeding Brisbane’s housing market were soon realistic.

“The market has certainly changed very, very strongly in the last six months in particular.”

A woman with blond hair poses with her hand on her hip
Real estate agent Rebecca Capper says half of their sales inquiries are from interstate buyers.(Delivered by: Coronis Group)

Ms Capper said demand was expected to rise further when borders reopened in December, despite lockdowns ceasing in Victoria and New South Wales.

“We still find it very strong at the moment,” she said.

“We expect that once the borders open up, that increase will of course happen quite dramatically, because it is also at Christmas time.”

Some real estate agents in the region have reported spending up to two hours a day on the phone to interstate buyers.

“Half of our inquiries come from the south,” Capper said.

“It’s all done virtually, so many of our conversations take place via FaceTime and video review.

“It probably gives them satisfaction that they can put an offer and a contract on the property.”

Boom hug tenants, budget buyers

For those already struggling to buy a house or cope with rising rents, the report has found little relief on the horizon.

St Vincent De Paul’s John Harrison works with those facing the crushing weight of the booming real estate market in Noosa and across the Sunshine Coast.

He said some fight for as long as they can — perhaps even accept retirees or tenants — before being forced out of town.

“Where previously the rent was $ 600 a week, it is now $ 800 or more, and some people pay much more than that,” he said.

Man standing in front of shelves with canned food
John Harrison says high-demand areas are forcing tenants and buyers on a budget out of town.(ABC Sunshine Coast: Meg Bolton)

He said some would consider leaving their hometown, where their family may have lived for generations, only to struggle to find a rental property elsewhere.

“If you look along the east coast, there are no vacancies above 1 percent,” he said.

“It will wave out because people have to move further north, but it will catch up.

“Families that used to come don’t seem to be involved anymore. I think there are quite a few people who have moved further north.”

House on Sunshine Coast with yellow rented sign out front
A large part of the Queensland region has a rental turnover of less than 1 per cent.(ABC Sunshine Coast: Bianca Clare)

Harrison said he wished good luck to those who are benefiting from the exploding property prices, but feared what would come next.

“What hope is there for the next generation?” he said.

“It will surge everywhere – a million [dollar housing] will be commonplace everywhere.

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