Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Positive Future Glow for Sunshine Coast; Expansion Poised to Bolster Employment and Property Development

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Positive Future Glow for Sunshine Coast; Expansion Poised to Bolster Employment and Property Development

Article excerpt

THE Sunshine Coast market is one of the fastest growing in Queensland.

And Queensland is outstripping all other states, including Western Australia.

Speaking at the UDIA (Qld) Sunshine Coast meeting at Alexandra Headland Surf Club, Turner and Townsend construction economist Gary Emmett said Queensland's property development sector was on the up but development trends and drivers varied considerably from region to region.

The meeting featured the release of the UDIA's Quarterly Development and Construction Industry Performance Report: Quarter 3, 2014, that shows owner-occupiers are jumping back into the market, with an increase in owner-occupier loans of 15% in the year to August 2014.

Mr Emmett said there were some important things for the Sunshine Coast to consider about its development.

Firstly, looking at demographics, the average median age in the region was five years higher than the rest of Queensland, he said.

Compared to the rest of the state, there is a population bulge in the five to 20 year-old and in the 40 to 65-year-old age groups.

In other words, people are moving away from the Sunshine Coast when they are in their 20s and returning in their 40s to stay long term.

The next thing to consider is housing demand and building approvals.

The Sunshine Coast's population of 278,000 is growing about 2.0% per year (about 5560 persons). That means about 2224 more homes are needed each year (based on an average family size of about 2.5).

The published housing approvals for the 2013-14 financial year of about 1600 houses and 800 apartments (excluding Noosa) in the statistical office report could indicate that demand will be met.

But typically only 90% of approvals will proceed to construction.

Furthermore, many of the apartment approvals will be earmarked for tourism and investor developments and are usually bought by people living elsewhere.

Despite approvals having increased significantly in 2014, after several years of much lower approvals, there is a high probability that an overhang in demand is not being met.

The next thing to look at would be the economic outlook, jobs and growth potential, both locally and nationally. …

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