Sunshine Coast evolves from Tourist Strip to Global Business Hub

Posted on 29/10/2019  
Sunshine Coast evolves from Tourist Strip to Global Business Hub

An economic revolution has shifted the Sunshine Coast from tourist destination to international city, according to property researcher and commentator Terry Ryder.

In a newly released report, The Sunshine Coast: Australia’s Most Compelling Growth Story, Mr Ryder said the Sunshine Coast economy was no longer solely reliant on tourism with the creation in recent years of strong health, education and technology industries – part of an infrastructure program totalling more than $20 billion. 

“Economies reliant on tourism traditionally fail to deliver sustainable growth, as evidenced by the Gold Coast which is a notoriously poor performer on capital growth,” he said. 

“But the Sunshine Coast has diversified and strengthened and is now arguably the nation’s most compelling growth story.

“It has a $17.7 billion economy, making it one of the largest regional economies in Australia.”

Mr Ryder said the health, education and technology sectors were bringing new residents to the Sunshine Coast and this was providing strong impetus to the real estate market, notably at the Top End. The median house price for Noosa Heads has increased 40% in the past three years, while the median apartment price has jumped 25% in the past year.

“I regard the Sunshine Coast as the strongest market in Queensland at the moment and indeed one of the strongest in Australia,” he said.

Mr Ryder said the creation of a Sunshine Coast CBD from the ground up – a unique $5 billion enterprise – was now under way.

“The creation of the Maroochydore City Centre has been vital to this growth it’s providing the region with a commercial centre – a city heart,” he said.

“And the new CBD will continue to grow as more than $20 billion in private and public infrastructure investment attracts new businesses to the region and generates extra jobs.”

Mr Ryder said the new city centre had already attracted investment from local, national and international firms interested having an early presence in the growing region.

“The 53-hectare greenfield site has no legacy infrastructure to impede fresh approaches to urban design and it has pre-approved development rights as part of the government’s Priority Development Area designation, representing considerable savings in time and costs for developers and investors,” he said.

Mr Ryder said the Sunshine Coast was amongst the top 10 leading regions in the country for employment generation, adding more than 20,000 jobs over the past five years.

“The $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) has created 5000 jobs since opening in April 2017 and the new Maroochydore City Centre is forecast to provide 15,000 jobs over the lifespan of the 20-year project and inject $4.4 billion into the economy,” he said.

“In addition, the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network will deliver 800 new jobs once it’s operational next year and will deliver the fastest data connection to Asia from the east coast of Australia.”

Mr Ryder said part of the economic revolution of the Sunshine Coast in recent years had stemmed from the region’s growing reputation as an innovation and technology hub.

“Demographer Bernard Salt has described the Sunshine Coast as the entrepreneurship capital of Australia because of the large number of knowledge-based start-ups and small businesses such as information technology, clean-tech, creative industries, aviation and education,” he said.

“The Sunshine Coast was also named in the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2019 by the global Intelligent Community Forum.”

Mr Ryder, who is founder of Hotspotting property research company, said the population of the Sunshine Coast was forecast to reach 580,000 by 2041, an increase on the previous forecast of 558,000.

“The Sunshine Coast is one of Australia’s fastest-developing economies, growing each year at rates well above national averages and is expected to expand to $33 billion by 2033,” he said.

“It has become Australia’s most exciting economic growth story.”


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