Slowdown in population growth no impediment to Gold Coast housing market: Colliers

After surging 23 per cent over the past decade, Gold Coast population growth may be about to slow down, but the latest Colliers research suggests it will not put a dampener on the city’s property market.

“The most recent population estimates released in 2023 show a downward revision in the population projection compared to previous figures,” the latest Colliers Gold Coast Market Overview for the September quarter says.

“Nevertheless, the medium series estimates indicate a significant 41 per cent population growth between now and 2041.”

The downward revision means the Gold Coast won’t reach the previously expected target of more than one million people by 2041, instead reaching 915,611 by then.

Colliers Gold Coast director-in-charge Steven King says a slowdown in population growth isn’t about to put the brakes on the Gold Coast property market, which he suggests is thriving across all sectors.

“We have to put this into perspective as the Gold Coast is a maturing city with a maturing property market that will continue to be driven by its position as one of the fastest growing regions in Australia,” King said.

The Gold Coast’s population currently stands at 647,824, driven by a growth rate that has exceeded the 17 per cent Queensland average over the past 10 years.

“A substantial portion of this population increase is due to interstate migration, particularly from cities like Sydney and Melbourne,” King added.

“This influx has not only enriched the cultural fabric of the region, but also boosted the local economy by strengthening the labour force, and consequently this has ignited increased demand and competitiveness in the real estate market.

“The Gold Coast property market is thriving across all sectors, largely thanks to a slowdown in new project commencements, primarily driven by escalating construction costs.”

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According to the Colliers Market Overview, the Ormeau-Oxenford region will absorb the majority of that population growth by accommodating an additional 103,000 people between 2021 and 2041. 

“This growth will be primarily driven by areas such as Coomera, Helensvale and Hope Island, which are anticipated to experience the highest growth in terms of population,” the report says. 

Gold Coast North is expected to accommodate an extra 35,000 people over the same period, with Labrador and Biggera Waters playing a significant role in this population growth. 

King said the downgraded population projections could be considered a positive for the Gold Coast.

“On the one hand it gives the city’s property market a breather to catch up but, on the other, the scale of future population projections indicates demand for housing is not going to fall off a cliff in the medium to longer term,” he said, adding that the near-term outlook remains supported by supply constraints.

“The Gold Coast continues to draw significant interest from investors across various asset classes, which have retained their appeal due to limited supply, strong tenant demand and escalating rental rates. 

“With an impressive pipeline of projects and substantial investments in infrastructure, including the anticipated benefits of hosting events during the 2032 Olympics, this region is poised for continued growth that can only intensify as the population heads closer to the million-people mark.

“The expansion of road and transport networks, along with the development of a high-frequency light rail system connecting the rapidly growing northern suburbs to Coolangatta in the south, will not only bolster public transit options but also make investing in the Gold Coast an even more attractive proposition.”

The Colliers Market Overview notes the Gold Coast region is being supported by a significant pipeline of public and private infrastructure spending, with the top seven projects alone – among them the M1 upgrade, the planned light rail extension and heavy rail upgrades for the Olympics – accounting for a combined investment of more than $16.6 billion.

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