Gold Coast property: Why are Kiwis buying homes on the GC?

Better job prospects and higher wages have long been cited as reasons to move across the ditch, and Kiwis buying properties on the Gold Coast tend to have this end game in mind, a local real estate agent says.

According to CoreLogic Australia figures, the median house value on the Gold Coast rose 1.2% in the three months to the end of October 2023, to $A1.068 million (NZ$1.14 million), a 7.3% increase over 12 months.

The city recorded the third fastest rate of growth in dwelling values over the last three months (across regional SA4 areas including Brisbane, Cairns and the Sunshine Coast), and had the second-highest growth rate over the year at 9.5%, CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless (pictured above right) said.

Brenton Buttigieg, director and general manager of Ray White Nerang (pictured above left) told NZ Adviser that while the Gold Coast continued to attract overseas investors, most New Zealanders he had dealt with who had purchased property with the intention of moving over at some point.

Having sold property in the Gold Coast for 11 years, Buttigieg said that closeness to family was one of the key reasons why Kiwis purchase property in the Gold Coast, and that the northern end tends to be the most popular.

“We see the suburbs and towns of Pacific Pines, Kumara, Upper Kumara seems to be very popular with a lot of New Zealanders coming over to the Gold Coast,” Buttigieg said.

Gold Coast property often purchased years in advance

Kiwis often plan ahead, buying property one to three years before they move over, which Buttigieg said could be due to a lot of talk about the uptick in the Gold Coast property market.

There could also be some trepidation among buyers that property values will rise further, supporting a decision to purchase ahead of time, he said.

“Demand for the Gold Coast right now is probably the highest we’ve seen in a long time,” Buttigieg said.

Lawless said that CoreLogic analysis showed that strong market conditions in the Gold Coast were being driven by a combination of strong demand via a blend of interstate, intrastate and overseas migration, and “persistently low advertised supply levels”.

“Advertised stock levels are around record lows, tracking 19% lower than at the same time last year and 43% below the last decade average,” Lawless said. “The imbalance of between demand and supply is favouring sellers over buyers, with home selling in a median of 29 days.”

According to CoreLogic Australia sales data over the 12 months to October, the average hold period for houses on the Gold Coast is 10.9 years for houses and 9.4 years for units.

Demand surge for freehold properties $650,000 plus

Commenting on demand for different types of properties, Buttigieg said that the highest demand was for freehold properties, which he said could attract higher capital growth over time.

“In  my experience, if it’s a long-term hold, the capital growth on them is much more significant than an apartment, unit or leasehold property,” he said.

While pricing depends on the needs and requirements of the buyer, Buttigieg said that the general surge in terms of demand was currently between A$650,000 and $850,000 (NZ$695,217 to $909,131).

According to an Urbis Gold Coast Apartments Essentials Report, there were 470 apartments sold over the third quarter of 2023, of which 77% were in the Gold Coast precinct, with sales in Surfers Paradise, Main Beach and Broadbeach, and two sales in Southport. There were 1,770 apartments for sale at the end of September, 82% of which were in Surfers Paradise, Main Beach and Broadbeach.

Factors for Kiwis to consider when buying a property in Australia

Stamp duty is a key consideration for New Zealanders buying in Australia. In Queensland, the First Home Concession applies to a home valued under $550,000. Foreign Acquirer Duty is another consideration, however exemptions apply for New Zealanders.

A spokesperson for Kāinga Ora said that the products it administered on behalf of the government, including the First Home Grant and First  Home Loan, can only be used to purchase homes in New Zealand.

NZ Adviser also understands that the KiwiSaver first home withdrawal cannot be used to buy a house in Australia. In case where a New Zealander moves to Australia permanently, their KiwiSaver savings can be moved to an Australian superannuation scheme.

Statistics NZ figures for the year ending March 2023 show a provisional net migration loss of 17,500 people to Australia (20,900 migrant arrivals from Australia and 38,400 migrant departures from NZ to Australia).  Figures over the year to September 2023 show a “record” net migration loss of 44,700 New Zealand citizens. 

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