Net migration for the Gold Coast is also high. The most recent ABS data shows that Gold Coast recorded the highest regional internal migration, adding an additional 7077 residents in the year ended June 2017.
In the short term, however, lead indicators suggest prices will remain under pressure. According to research by CoreLogic, the number of properties sold in the December quarter fell by 20 per cent compared to the same period last year, from 4370 in 2017 to 3502 in 2018.
At that rate, the estimated 7773 properties on market as of the last week of 2018 would take more than six months to sell.
Discount rates – the difference between the price of a property when listed and the price achieved on sale – have also risen. In December preliminary data shows properties were being sold at 5.5 per cent below listing price, an increase of six basis points on the same time last year.
CoreLogic research principal Cameron Kusher said 2019 is unlikely to see any major falls in prices. “We expect a flat or falling market on the Gold Coast for 2019,” he said.
“I think the impact of falling values in Sydney or Melbourne is having a negative effect, but that might be offset by interstate migration.”
High-rise residential stock is expected to drag on the market, particularly as tighter lending requirements continue to reduce demand among investors.
Adding to the strain on the high-rise apartment market, foreign-buyer demand has been impacted by China’s crackdown on its citizens buying real estate overseas, as well as the increase on foreign-buyer duty in Queensland, which was lifted from 3 per cent to 7 per cent in July last year.
The fallout from reduced investor and foreign-buyer demand is concentrated on the high-rise market, which, according to Knight Frank director Chris Liftin, means positive trends in other segments of the market may not be as visible.
Price growth for 2018 was 0.4 per cent overall, with house values increasing by 0.8 per cent and unit values growing by 0.1 per cent.