STRONG OUTLOOK: Herron Todd White Sunshine Coast's Stuart Greensill gave a wide-reaching outlook on the Sunshine Coast property market at Maroochy Surf Club.
STRONG OUTLOOK: Herron Todd White Sunshine Coast's Stuart Greensill gave a wide-reaching outlook on the Sunshine Coast property market at Maroochy Surf Club. Erle Levey

Land prices, sizes driving Coast market

THE Sunshine Coast is in a normal property market. We can see it in prices and sales numbers.

Speaking at Maroochy Surf Club last week, director of HTW Sunshine Coast valuers Stuart Greensill said the market was strong.

"There is not much bad news,'' he told the Ray White breakfast meeting.

"Stock levels are low and there are some premium prices being achieved.

"Supply and demand leads to values. That's why we are pretty confident of the Sunshine Coast market, it is sustainable due to not experiencing the booms of the past.''

Mr Greensill said the 2011 drop in values was reflected by the drop in supply of land.

That has changed, with developers opening up new estates but the pressure is on to keep costs down.

House blocks of 400sq m are the new normal on the Sunshine Coast.

People are more keen on bright and new homes rather than bigger blocks.

Mr Greensill said a stagnation in land sales in 2011 saw a drop in sizes and prices.

The sub-400sq m block is now one of the largest markets, he said, and there are rumours of sub-100sq m.

That is replacing the townhouse product in estates

The big issue is that small-lot housing has been around the world for hundreds of years but they have good public transport to support them.

That is not the case in Australia where so much is built around private vehicle use.

Mr Greensill said the Sunshine Coast property market could expect at least another 12 months at this level of interest, particularly from southern markets.

Typically, we are two years behind Sydney and Canberra in the property cycle.

He said it was interesting to look at comparative product in a 10km radius of capital cities of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

The Brisbane median price at that 10km radius is $500,000 while Melbourne is $980,000 and Sydney, such as the suburb of Strathfield, was at $2.25m.

"These are not the richest people in the world but they have had the luxury of time in the market,'' Mr Greensill said.

"They can come here, buy something in a lifestyle location and have money in the bank.''

Similar comparisons can be taken when looking at destinations in coastal areas with Warana on the Sunshine Coast at $667,500 and Bar Beach at Newcastle $900,000.

"They are the major drivers,'' Mr Greensill said.

"Increase in values sees people coming into the market.''

The confidence that major infrastructure development is bringing to the Coast can be seen with the lift in the top end of the property market.

"The prestige market has significantly improved,'' Mr Greensill said.

"Infrastructure projects such as SunCentral and the airport expansion are a given, they are happening.

"The next big game changer is the submarine cable. It has the potential of being a good long-term story to build capacity.

"Saying that, I would not like to go back five years without the impetus the hospital brought.

"The fact we have got a major regional hospital is important to the baby boomers retiring here, and not having to go to Brisbane.''

The new unit market on the Sunshine Coast has improved with a number of developers getting pre sales.

"A lot more people are looking for new product to live in or let.

"The owner-occupier market is very solid, especially in the sub $500,000-$600,000 market. "Noise of over-supply of the Brisbane unit market is having an effect but has been well managed.''