The post-election outlook for southeast Queensland property markets is much healthier, according to Andrew Lynch, Principal, Raine & Horne Toowoomba.
“Some analysts are suggesting that the southeast corner of Queensland, which includes Toowoomba, has the best long-term prospects for growth in Australia,” Andrew said. “Underpin this enthusiasm is the delivery of recent political and bureaucratic carrots such as lower interest rates, the protection of the negative gearing in the wake of the election result, and the government’s commitment to supporting first home buyers.”
The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme announced during the Federal Election campaign will enable first-time buyers to secure their own home with a deposit of 5%, as opposed to the usual 20% deposit required. The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation is guaranteeing these loans. According to the government, the scheme will mean Australians can get a loan and into the market faster. Better still the scheme lets first home buyers save many thousands of dollars by not having to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance.
“We have seen more buyers in the Toowoomba marketplace since the election,” Andrew noted. “Consequently, we achieved more sales in the week after the election than the fortnight before the poll. Moreover, our results in June make this the best performing month we’ve had all year in terms of sales.”
The property price sweet spot in Toowoomba, which sits adjacent to the Great Diving Range, spans from entry-level homes valued at $300,000 to $500,000. “We’re a tail of many markets with properties in range-side and range-edge suburbs in extreme demand. Suburbs such as Rangeville, Toowoomba East, Mount Lofty, Centenary Heights and Middle Ridge are robust because these markets are tightly held. Owners are under no pressure to move and hence there is a shortage of properties in these suburbs available for sale.
Andrew said, “Local buyers understand the growth prospect for range-side properties, and this factor is driving demand for homes in East Toowoomba, Rangeville and surrounding suburbs.
“It also helps that the range-side suburbs are close to lifestyle facilities such as Toowoomba Golf Club at Middle Ridge and excellent retail precincts.”
On the Gold Coast, the number of groups at open homes in suburbs such as Coomera, Coomera Waters, Pimpama and Ormeau is up 30% since the election on 18 May, according to Jason Read, Principal of Raine & Horne Coomera. “While this post-election activity hasn’t translated to sales yet, the focus is back on real estate,” Jason said. “Election day was the slowest day in May with minimal groups at open homes, and since then it has been solid.”
Online, the enquiries are flowing through from Sydney and Melbourne buyers seeking relocation to the Gold Coast at the end of the year noted Jason. “Many buyers, whether local or from the southern states have recognised the long-term growth potential for Coomera, especially with the explosion of infrastructure projects that will make this region an even better place to live. In April for example, work on a new $64 million high school at Coomera began[i]. This follows the opening of St Joseph’s College at Coomera. Construction of the high school at Coomera will support up to 168 full-time jobs. The state government has also announced plans for Pimpama North State School.
At the same time, the Queensland government has announced its intention to build the Coomera Connector[ii]. This roadway will be a state-controlled north-south corridor between Loganholme and Nerang, east of the Pacific Motorway (M1).
The new corridor will allow for up to six traffic lanes and is expected to include facilities for public transport and paths for walking and cycling. It will provide more transport capacity for growing residential and business communities in the northern Gold Coast.
Other recent and future projects include the opening late last year of Westfield Coomera, while plans have been lodged with Council for the first stage of the Coomera Home Ideas Centre to be built within the Coomera Town Centre Precinct, fronting the Old Pacific Highway, Coomera. The first stage of the $100 million upgrade of the Gold Coast that is expected to rival nearby Sanctuary Cove has also been completed.
“There is a confidence that prices will react to the investment in infrastructure in the region and react soon,” said Jason. “We’re even seeing more local owners considering second and third properties in this region.”
The hotspot price range is between $700,000 - $1 million in the Coomera region. For example, a modern 4-bedroom house at Solo Place, Coomera Waters, which is on sale for offers between $799,000 - $830,000 has attracted plenty of attention. “We’ve only had one open home for this property, and it attracted five groups and four email enquiries from Sydney and Melbourne buyers,” Jason said.