Live by the beach for less: Where you can still snag a property on the Gold Coast for around $500k

Despite eye-watering annual price growth of up to 50 per cent, the Gold Coast property dream remains alive for cash-strapped buyers, with homes close to the glitter strip and within the city’s thriving northern corridor still available for around half a million dollars.
They might be a few streets back from the beach and in need of a reno’, but apartments in Surfers Paradise or even the occasional four-bedroom house in Labrador can be nabbed for a bargain – with more than 40 suburbs still boasting a median below the city’s average.
Data from the latest Domain House Price Report, released in March, revealed unit and some house medians in 37 suburbs across the Gold Coast were less than $700,000, despite 21 suburbs, on the other end of the spectrum, soaring beyond a $1 million median.
This includes the painfully pricey patch of Mermaid Beach, where the house-price median leapt by 46.6 per cent over a year to an unprecedented $2.565 million.
Beyond the city’s star-studded hot spots making price growth headlines, the cheapest place in which to buy a home is the northern suburb of Coomera, the report revealed, where unit medians dropped by 3.5 per cent over the year to a feasible $360,000.
In Southport – just a stone’s throw from the city centre – unit medians are just $437,750, despite collecting a 12 per cent price hike over the same period.

For houses, the most affordable suburbs are Coombabah followed by Labrador, where median prices are a budget-friendly $525,000 and $572,500.
The overall median for Gold Coast houses is $950,000, with the median unit price now $595,000.
Coomera specialist and Jean Brown Properties agent Cat Fraser said the underrated northern suburbs of the city are untapped gold mines with cheaper buys aplenty despite major infrastructure spending tipped to fuel future growth.
“Under $700,000, there are still four-bedroom houses and if you’re lucky you can pick them up. As for units, you can definitely pick them up in the high $400,000s or low $500,000s … so, for first home buyers it’s still pretty good,” Ms Fraser said.
She’s listed a four-bedroom home at 20 McPherson Street, Coomera, for offers over $675,000, but it’s tipped to sell fast.
“Now is the time to get into Coomera and hold on and wait for the growth,” Ms Fraser said.
“I find a lot of people buy here because it’s a mid-way commute to Surfers Paradise and Brisbane … and it will definitely grow over the next 10 years with a new hospital and the new Coomera Marine Centre of Excellence TAFE.”
Closer to the city centre, at Biggera Waters, the median unit price is $475,000, with the bulk of affordable options dotted throughout the non-waterfront pockets, said @Realty agent Francine Setchell.
“You can definitely buy here for under $700,000, but if you want water views, you’re going to be paying a premium and for that price you’ll get a grotty two-bedroom unit,” she said.
“If you get something with a good water view it will sell if not on the first weekend, then the week after.”
And that hot waterfront stock, she revealed, is fetching close to $1 million, and selling fast.
“I’ve had the busiest 18 months of my life … and so far, I’m still seeing property price growth,” Ms Setchell said.
“But the properties in the back streets will slow off first and they might even see a price drop before something with a view will.”
And if you’re willing to swap that sea vista for a hinterland view, she said great two-bedroom units, such as 2j-510 Marine Parade, Biggera Waters, could still be picked up for under $600,000.
Over in Labrador, where the house median is still just $572,500, LJ Hooker Broadwater agent Chris Ryan said he just sold a three-bedroom renovated townhouse for $590,000 at 4/146 Central Street, which showed the level of great value that still exists within the booming Gold Coast.
“I even have a two-bedroom apartment one street back from the water in Surfers Paradise. It’s part of the Sand Castles Resort, it has a renovated kitchen and it’s (being marketed) for $449,000 plus,” he said.
But while demand remains high with properties still selling sight-unseen, Mr Ryan warned buyers seeking a slice of the city’s sought-after property pie needed to do their research.
“Do your due diligence and make sure you lock something in at a variable rate and don’t overextend yourself. I see that too often … a lot of people rush in when they shouldn’t.”

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