Market Insights

Apartments Outpace Houses

November 28 2022

A change in economic conditions and buyer mindset is leading the apartment market to outperform houses in many Gold Coast suburbs.
Apartments Outpace Houses

Apartment sales are going from strength to strength in the readjusting market, with unit price growth outperforming that of houses in many Gold Coast suburbs.

According to CoreLogic quarterly data, units in the central suburb of Broadbeach Waters registered the highest price growth of all housing stock in the third quarter.

The median price for a unit in the suburb jumped 20.2 per cent to $680,000. This compares to a 7.5 per cent lift for houses to a median of $1,804,400 in the same area.

Units in Oxenford were the second-highest performers across all suburbs, with prices rising 11.3 per cent to $503,500 in the three months to the end of September, compared with houses, which marked 3.3 per cent growth across the same period to a median of $777,500.

Rounding out the list of 10 top-performing suburbs in the unit sector, according to the data, were Upper Coomera, Paradise Point, Hollywell, Merrimac, Arundel, Ormeau, Hope Island and Burleigh Waters.

Looking more broadly at the market, last year proved a highlight for Gold Coast apartment sales with reports that 2,500 units changed hands, surpassing the benchmark 1,600 transactions recorded in 2015.

While apartment sales have traditionally been dominated by investors, the lack of available rental stock in the current market points to a shift towards more owner-occupiers entering the sector.

According to Dr Nicola Powell, chief of research and economics at listings website Domain, the more recent spike in apartment sales, particularly at the lower end of the market, can partly be attributed to the rise in house prices during Covid, which forced people to find more affordable housing.

In the prestige market, the raft of boutique new-builds and luxury towers appearing along the Gold Coast’s skyline have been attracting a demographic seeking low-maintenance, high-amenity beachside living.

Kollosche sales agent Rob Lamb, who specialises in beachfront apartment sales, says buyer requirements have changed over the past 12 to 24 months.

“There has definitely been a move towards more owner-occupiers,” says Rob.

“What were traditionally mixed-use buildings, blending a bit of holiday and private residential properties, are now becoming residential-only buildings.

“New-build stock, where buyers can choose the size and style of an apartment, is also driving a lot of off-the-plan sales.”

Waterfront and beachfront properties are expected to continue to be in high demand moving into Q4 as interstate and overseas holidaymakers enter the buyer mix.

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