House prices on the Gold Coast have cracked the $1 million mark, making it the second Queensland city ever to reach a seven-figure median sale price.
The coastal hub hit a record median house price of $1.03 million in the December quarter, up 4.6 per cent over the three-month period and 8.4 per cent over the year, the latest Domain House Price Report shows.
The Sunshine Coast is the only other Queensland city to have surpassed a $1 million median, reaching the milestone in early 2022 before prices tumbled back to six figures a few months later. It’s now just shy of seven figures, having increased 5.1 per cent last year to a median of $998,000.
Domain chief of research and economics Dr Nicola Powell said the Gold Coast house price record highlighted just how far the former boom and bust town had come.
“This is a big milestone because it’s a psychological one for buyers,” Powell said.
The Sunshine Coast was the stronger market during the pandemic property boom, when prices jumped 60 per cent, compared with a 49 per cent increase on the Gold Coast. But the latter has held up better since, recording a milder decline in the downturn and then a stronger rebound.
“The Gold Coast only wobbled slightly … and interstate buyers have 100 per cent been a massive driver of demand there. But other demand dynamics include overseas buyers. And that demand is stronger on the Gold Coast than on the Sunshine Coast,” Powell said.
“Australians are also driven by lifestyle, and we’re willing to pay a premium for location. A million bucks is still spare change to people to Sydney.”
She expected the Sunshine Coast to return to a seven-figure house medium this year.
Gold Coast apartments also recorded steeper growth. They held steady over the quarter at $705,000, but were up 10.2 per cent year-on-year, while Sunshine Coast prices dropped 2.1 per cent last quarter to $715,000, still leaving them 7.4 per cent higher over the year.
The median house price on the Sunshine Coast is just shy of the $1 million mark, but prices upwards of $2 million are the norm in some suburbs.
In greater Brisbane, by comparison, unit prices rose 14.2 per cent annually to a high of $524,202, while house prices increased 9.7 per cent to a record $888,285, leaving prices in more than 60 suburbs topping $1 million.
Michael Kollosche, managing director of Gold Coast real estate agency Kollosche, was not surprised that the coastal market had reached the $1 million milestone.
“The market has matured and there’s a significant deficit of about 30 per cent between dwellings and net migration,” he said.
“We have an ageing population from Melbourne and Sydney that are moving up here full time … and our cost of living is still more affordable than southern cities so a lot of families in general are moving here too.”
There had also been an upswing in interest from international buyers, Kollosche said, and strong infrastructure investment for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, was also supporting price growth.
“I think all of this will underpin our market moving forward and from what I have also seen, the Gold Coast isn’t as boom-bust as it used to be … the market is now less susceptible to fluctuations.”
Kollosche claimed an eye-watering house transaction in September, selling a Southport mansion for $24.8 million.
Multiple suburbs across the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast now have medians of at least $2 million. The most expensive is Surfers Paradise, where house prices jumped 20.5 per cent last year to $2.65 million – the second-highest Queensland median after Brisbane’s New Farm, at $2,675,000. Medians were only recorded for suburbs with a minimum of 50 sales last year.
Tom Offermann, of the eponymous real estate firm, said while the Sunshine Coast figures painted a picture of ongoing price recovery, it wasn’t a true reflection of what was happening on the ground – as a dearth of blue-chip homes for sale had pulled down the median sale price.
“The current median shows our lack of stock in the prestige sector,” Offermann said. “But I sold 26 Mcanally Drive, Sunshine Beach, for $13.5 million in November last year and at auction and that’s 30 per cent higher than any other non-beach front property has ever sold there.”
Sunshine Beach has long been considered the state’s premier blue-chip suburb, but did not have sufficient sales to record a median.
Offermann said demand from a backlog of buyers awaiting more prestige properties to hit the market, was supporting prices.
“I think this year will mirror last year. The only headwinds are the direction of interest rates,” he said.
“But there’s still a pretty good economy here, so I don’t see any great challenges for us.”