Rise in sight-unseen sales on the Gold Coast

An interstate buyer fell in love with 30 Grandview Terrace, Tallai, online. They bought it while in lockdown, without an onsite inspection.

SOUTHENERS are on the march in their droves – or at least they intend to be once they get out of lockdown.
And who can blame them?
In Melbourne, hopes of emerging from a sixth lockdown have been dashed as “mystery cases” in the community continue to rise, while across the border in New South Wales, Sydneysiders are facing the very real prospect of spending Christmas 2021 in lockdown.
Queenslanders, on the other hand, have returned to a comparatively normal life. Is it any wonder that southerners are looking at the state as the holy grail?

Expat buyers moving from Hong Kong to the Gold Coast bought 27 Namatjira Court, Broadbeach Waters, after viewing it online only. It sold for $5.415 million through Jamie Harrison of Kollosche.

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Welcome to the house of fun, with its own ferris wheel and swim-up bar
Secret past of the Gold Coast’s top agents
Agents on the Gold Coast are reporting that inquiries from interstate house-hunters, looking for an escape plan, have spiked exponentially in the past few months.
A closed border is proving no deterrent for these determined buyers who, fearful of missing out, seem increasingly happy to buy property up and down the Coast sight-unseen.
One agent reported that 20 per cent of his sales were changing hands this way, while another said their agency is selling one to two properties a week sight-unseen.
Last week a characterful Queen Anne-style home at 30 Grandview Terrace in Tallai was sold for $1.75m through Brad Coyne of Kollosche to a buyer from over the border, who never stepped foot on the property.

In the northern suburbs Amir Prestige agent Mitchell Booth sold a house in Helensvale that neither he, nor the buyer had inspected.
Seeking a move to an acreage the owner approached Mr Booth to help him sell.
“I contacted a client in Newcastle who was looking on the Coast. I knew he had missed out on some other properties, so I sent him an email and he snapped the property up for $1.15 million.”
In Hope Island it was a similar story. Mr Booth sold 4 Palladium Boulevard, this time to a Sydney family hoping to relocate to the Gold Coast in the new year. They paid $1.5m for the house, which was last sold in 2020 for $1.01m.
While interstate buyers have always been in the local market, Mr Booth said there had been a mind shift among those purchasing property during the most recent lockdowns.
“Previously interstate buyers were looking for holiday homes, or secondary residences that they could use as a temporary escape,” he said. “Now, they are mostly looking to make a permanent move, fed-up with the lockdowns and uncertainty down south.”

2 Eastbank Terrace, Helensvale, sold to a Newcastle buyer sight unseen for $1.15 million through Mitchell Booth of Amir Prestige.

And there is no limit to how much people are willing to pay to gain a foothold here.
Michael Kollosche of Kollosche estate agency confirmed that he last week sold, sight-unseen, a property on Monaco Street in Broadbeach Waters to a Sydney buyer for more than $12 million after conducting a 3-D virtual tour of the property.
Sales such as this 12 months ago would have seemed unfathomable to many, but the persistence of Covid has forced an advancement in technology that has made buying a property online, not only achievable but relatively safe.
Mr Kollosche said buying sight-unseen was becoming more common and was little different to buying off-plan, “and people have been doing that for years”.
“Technology has made it easier to do these transactions. Years ago we didn’t even have FaceTime, now you have online photos and 3-D virtual walk-throughs, where a buyer can inspect every section of a house,” he said.

4 Palladium Boulevard, Hope Island, sold to a Sydney buyer offmarket and sight unseen for $1.5 million through Mitchell Booth of Amir Prestige.

“You can get a thorough building and pest inspection, have a family or friend look through the property and you can always have clauses written into a contract to protect yourself if you have concerns,” he said. “Unlike buying off-plan, at least you know what you are getting.”
If you think about the impact of technology over the past few decades, there are relatively few industries, that have remained unchanged.
We now buy our clothes, food, electronics, furniture, etc online, without seeing it or touching it first.
Sure, there is the occasional dud purchase, but generally it works.
And we never thought possible even a decade ago.
With the adoption of online auctions and the rise of sight-unseen sales, I would say the shift has already begun.

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