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John McGrath – Border closure no barrier for QLD buyers

John McGrath
John McGrath
15/11/2021 | 3 MIN READ

Brisbane was Australia’s fastest growing market in October, with house prices climbing 2.8% to a median of just above $730,000. In 2021 alone, Brisbane house prices have leapt 22.5%. That’s not far off the pace set by the best performing city, Sydney, at 27.8%.

 

The regional Queensland market, which includes the more expensive markets of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, also continues to rise. House prices went up by 1.9% in October (the second fastest regional monthly growth rate) and there’s been a 19.8% increase over the 10 months of 2021 so far.

 

That’s pretty impressive growth for a state that’s had some of Australia’s tightest border restrictions over the past two years. It seems that’s been no barrier to buyers, with thousands of Sydney and Melbourne families relocating to the Sunshine State because they can now work from home.

 

Queensland has long been a favourite holiday destination and also offers the best beachside lifestyle in the country.

 

Before the pandemic, many southerners dreamed of living in Queensland but most didn’t make it there until retirement because jobs availability wasn’t as good. But in the work-from-home era, that doesn’t matter anymore.

 

As discussed in our McGrath Report 2022, the pandemic has brought lifestyle aspirations sharply into focus and South East Queensland, in particular, has been a direct beneficiary.

 

Remember the 1980s tourism catchphrase, ‘Beautiful one day, perfect the next’? That alluring promise of great weather and a relaxed beachy lifestyle all year round is certainly resonating today.

 

Latest available figures show just over 30,000 people from other states moved to Queensland in the year to March 31, 2021, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. That’s the biggest annual net population gain from internal migration in 16 years.

 

About 53% resettled outside Brisbane, with the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast the most popular locations.

 

This wave of demand from Virus Escapees Seeking Provincial Australia (VESPAs), coupled with strong

activity amongst locals seeking to upgrade whilst interest rates are low, has sent home values soaring to new record highs in Brisbane and across many regional markets.

 

FOMO has played a big role in price growth, with a particularly tight supply/demand imbalance in the first half of 2021 when listings fell steeply to a decade-low across Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, according to data from SQM Research.

 

Some Sydney and Melbourne dwellers have bought site unseen, or used a local buyers’ agent to inspect homes for them. We’ve seen a big increase in the number of prestige sales on the Gold Coast, in particular, as expats return and southern city buyers bring their bigger budgets north.

 

The influx of new residents has also spurred along the development boom in Queensland, including the planning of whole new townships such as ‘SkyRidge’ on the Gold Coast, which will have 3,500 new homes and is due for completion in 2036.

 

There’s also ‘Shoreline’ at Redland Bay, 43km southeast of Brisbane, which will have 3,000 new homes and is due for completion in 2041.

 

Despite its major price growth, Queensland continues to offer exceptional value to buyers.

 

On latest figures, Brisbane’s median house price is $600,000 cheaper than Sydney’s and $240,000 cheaper than Melbourne’s. So, by swapping cities you can wipe significant money off your mortgage, attain a better lifestyle working from home in a bigger and better house, and enjoy warmer weather.

 

Queensland’s magnetic force will only strengthen in FY22. It’s the value buy of the East Coast, with a mass transfer of boom-time capital gains from the southern cities ensuring vast room for growth in local home values. Oh, and then there’s the Olympics factor…

 

To read more about the Queensland property market, download the McGrath Report 2022.

 

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This article originally appeared in The Real Estate Conversation

 

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