Aerials of the Sunshine Coast. Property along the Maroochy River.
Aerials of the Sunshine Coast. Property along the Maroochy River.

Stock levels the next challenge for Coast property market

LOW stock level looms as the next great challenge for the region’s property industry.

Having had to make drastic technological advances in the past few months to adapt to business in the coronavirus pandemic landscape, the industry was now casting its eye to life after the virus.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland Sunshine Coast zone chairman Matt Diesel said properties had still been selling during the pandemic, but volumes were “down slightly”.

He said buyers, particularly locals, had been “sitting off to the side” to see what would happen and he felt the opening up of borders with southern states would be the catalyst for a run of sales.

He said inquiry levels from southern states, mostly New South Wales and Victoria, had increased as talk about restrictions easing increased.

Mr Diesel tipped an “early spring season” and a definite spike in volume of sales.

He said there had been some apprehension when the pandemic took hold.

“I haven’t seen the drop in prices as yet,” he said.

He said prices had remained strong on the Coast so far, and the effects of the pandemic had driven a desire for a lifestyle change from buyers.

REIQ Sunshine Coast zone chairman Matt Diesel.
REIQ Sunshine Coast zone chairman Matt Diesel.

He said Brisbane buyers were now scouting the Coast market, as they adjusted to life without needing to be in a traditional workplace, so they were looking further afield.

“We have seen an increase in inquiry and sales for properties with more space,” Mr Diesel said.

“There’s quite a transition in the workplace.”

He felt the region was well-placed to capitalise, with the high-speed internet cable and new airport runway.

Mr Diesel said the industry had also adapted quickly, and he felt it had moved forward about five years through coronavirus, as buyers, sellers and agents embraced technology.

Virtual tours had proven popular, even with local buyers, and it was a lot less intrusive on sellers and renters.

As restrictions eased further, Mr Diesel said stock levels, “still very low at present”, would remain an issue for the Coast market for some time.

National Institute of Economic and Industry Research 2019 data showed rental, hiring and real estate services added $564.7 million worth of value to the Coast economy in 2018-19.

There were 3954 rental, hiring and real estate services businesses registered in the region in 2019.

Tom Broderick out front of Wintergarden in Queen St, Brisbane. Tuesday April 24, 2018. (AAP image, John Gass)
Tom Broderick out front of Wintergarden in Queen St, Brisbane. Tuesday April 24, 2018. (AAP image, John Gass)

In 2018-19 the industry employed 2666 people locally, and recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed jobs in the sector had taken a 10.5 per cent hit from March 14 to May 2, an indication of the effects of the pandemic.

CBRE Sunshine Coast’s latest market update forecast retail rents to drop by up to 20 per cent, as a result of the virus.

The firm also forecast up to 15 per cent of discretionary retailers may not reopen after the pandemic.

CBRE Associate Director, Research, Tom Broderick, expected population growth would be on hold until 2021, but the internal migration trend to Queensland would return as the economic outlook improved next year.



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