The Sunshine Coast property market has always attracted buyers from southern markets and overseas. City dwellers who tired of the relentless pace of their urban life might get a taste of our relaxed lifestyle (and our relatively affordable property prices) while on holiday and begin to wonder – is it time to swap inner-city Melbourne for Minyama or Kawana?
It’s a scenario familiar to McGrath Mooloolaba agent Geoff Ohmsen. He gets lots of inquiry from interstate and overseas buyers, and they’re looking for more than just a holiday home. Having had their fill of the rat race, they are now settling in the region. “Smaller and medium-sized businesses are also coming here,” Mr Ohmsen adds.
“And now a lot of people can run a company and business from anywhere.” If you can run your business or travel for work, where better to have a home base than on the Sunshine Coast?
Mr Ohmsen recently sold 25 Cuba Court on Kawana Island to a South African buyer who couldn’t wait to secure a slice of Sunshine Coast property. Cuba Court was listed for offers over $2.2 million. “I got the listing, [the online ad] went live on Friday and the property sold on the Monday – five days on the market. This sale of $2,325,000 is now a record for Kawana Island.”
That buyer is not alone – Mr Ohmsen says there are plenty of buyers with big budgets looking right now. “I’ve met a heap lately with three, four, five million [to spend]. They are local, from Brisbane, South Africa and Melbourne. Victoria has always been big for us.”
While Cuba Court was a very quick turnaround, Mr Ohmsen says most of his properties still average 28 to 30 days on market. However, the market is in good shape. “It’s the best I have seen it for two or three years. The quality of properties is high and [they are] attracting a few people.”
For vendors hoping to entice these buyers, and the best price for their property, the advice is to invest in marketing. Mr Ohmsen says 30 per cent of his potential buyers come from online advertising, 30 from print advertising and 30 from other forms of marketing, such as signage and letterbox drops.
“I aim for print every time,” he adds. “I’ve found that it actually makes people act quicker when the ad is in print.” He cites the example of a family who saw a property advertised online, but didn’t see the urgency to make an offer until they saw the same property advertised in My Property Preview. “When it came into print, they realised it would have competition too.”
Mr Ohmsen adds, “It’s important to cover all areas of marketing to ensure you don’t miss a buyer.”
C21 Grant Smith Property principal Grant Smith says the Coast is experiencing what he would call a “normal” market and the past few weeks has been a mixed bag of sales for him, with a Buderim residential record-breaking sale before the property went to market.
On the first weekend of spring, the luxury property at 11 Eckersley Avenue in Buderim achieved a record $1.65 million after being sold off market by Mr Smith and Shari Hall to an expat family moving back from London.
“The developer, Nexus Property Group, are renowned for high-end quality products, setting the benchmark in exquisite quality and design and the sellers confidently created an unprecedented home in one of Buderim’s most desirable streets, resulting in an uncompromised, sophisticated Los Angeles-inspired home with state of the art finishes and design,” Mr Smith says.
“We had previously shown the buyers 25 properties in the mid $1.5 million to $2.5 million price range and we knew that the match to this home was perfect for their family. Through transparent communication between the buyers and sellers, the buyers will have the home customised to suit their lifestyle.”
Mr Smith says unique products in good streets are continuing to command great prices, with another benchmark set for Buderim earlier this year as 17 Foote Avenue sold for $1.375 after “stirring up a lot of activity”.
“Buyers are savvy and have high expectations of things like finish and want value for what they are paying for. In a very price-savvy market, 20 per cent of our buyers are looking for the dream home in good locations and will pay for the perfect product, the remaining 80 per cent are still looking for good value for money and there are still areas of the Sunshine Coast that still represent good buying opportunities,” he says.
Mr Smith says the majority of their million-dollar sales around Buderim have come from Brisbane, interstate or international buyers over the last few months.
To showcase how varied life as a real estate agent is, the day after Mr Smith and Ms Hall secured the Buderim residential property sales record, Mr Smith sold his lowest-value property of his career, with a studio apartment in the Alex Beach Resort selling under the hammer for $135,000 with six registered bidders in for a piece of the action.
“One guy saw it for the first time that morning as he was here on holidays, but the winning bidder already lived in another unit in the building,” he says.
“It just goes to show that as long as you’ve got systems in place and you treat every property like it’s a prized asset, you will always get a good outcome for the seller.”