Prestige sales decline in struggling Sunshine Coast market

Posted on 26/04/2007  

(Further to our earlier article dated 19 April on the Sunshine Coast market, we present this analysis of the region's top end)

They’re the sales that always grab the headlines, with pictures of very large houses with four-car garages, swimming pools and palm trees. The Sunshine Coast Daily (as you would expect) gives $1 million-plus sales a big run – the most recent spread was devoted to an $8 million mansion at Forest Glen in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, topping an earlier sale in the canal suburb of Minyama.

People are still prepared to pay $1 million or more for a suitably prestigious Sunshine Coast home, but sales volumes are a long way south of the trend which began in 1998 and peaked in March 2005 - and price growth has stopped, according to a PRDnationwide Research survey.

Sales volumes have slowed dramatically and the median price for prestige homes of $1.372 million is $27,500 below the median recorded in September 2005.

The fervour for $1 million+ houses characterised every six-month period from September 2003 to March 2006. But only 76 houses were sold in the September 2006 half-year, 27 fewer sales than for the same period in 2005.

PRDnationwide’s analysis of the top 10 Sunshine Coast suburbs showed the tally for $1 million+ houses in calendar 2006 was 145, compared with 172 in 2005. Noosaville continued to lead the prestige market with 30 sales, closely followed by Sunshine Beach (28) and Minyama (17) some way behind. In 2005, these top three suburbs recorded a total of 102 sales (compared with 75 in 2006).
In the $1 million+ apartment market, the September 2006 half year saw one of the few declines in sales volumes recorded. This market had steadily grown from humble beginnings in 2001 to a peak of 77 sales in the six months to September 2005. The median price remained stable at $1.4 million, with Noosa the only region to record median unit price growth since the peak of the boom in 2003. Noosa units recorded price gains of 14.1% a year for the following three years, while market activity in the rest of the region more than halved.

The Sunshine Coast’s prestige unit market is still dominated by Mooloolaba, Maroochydore and Golden Beach, accounting for 74 of the 96 sales in 2006.

What is remarkable about the coast’s $1 million-plus house and unit markets is the total of sales logged since 2001. In that year there were 46 house sales and just 5 unit sales at prices of more than $1 million. The cumulative tally over the ensuing years is 649 house sales and 294 unit sales – considerably more than $1 billion worth of real estate in the hands of fewer than 1,000 buyers!


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