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From big things, little things grow

With our lifestyles changing, smaller land sizes with custom-built homes are becoming more popular on the Sunshine Coast.

Property

From big things, little things grow

With our lifestyles changing, smaller land sizes with custom-built homes are becoming more popular on the Sunshine Coast.

The size of the land that Sunshine Coasters are seeking to build their new dream homes on is shrinking in size and going up in price – a great sign for land valuations across the region.

Property expert Michael Matusik has crunched the numbers and looked through the historical data and found that there has been a 14 per cent increase in the number of land sales on the Sunshine Coast between 2009 and 2019 and a 15 per cent increase in the value of the land sold.

When you compare this to the southeast Queensland average, there was a 14 per cent increase in the number of land sales, but the average increase in price was 27 per cent in the same time frame.

Mr Matusik says it’s worth noting how much land sizes have fallen in the same time frame. According to the Matusik Ready Reckoner, southeast Queensland median land sizes reduced from 620m2 to 475m2 in the past 10 years, a 23 per cent drop. Conversely, the price per square metre of land has increased 66 per cent.

On the Sunshine Coast, land sizes have only dropped nine per cent, yet the increase in price per square metres has risen from $364 in 2009 to $459 in 2019, a 26 per cent rise.

Mr Matusik says this reflects two trends. Firstly, the tightening of land supply and rising associated costs of land development, and changing housing demographics and lifecycle preferences.

“There are two major housing demographic shapers over the next decade. These two next big waves are first homebuyers and downsizers,” he says.

“Both of these markets are looking for affordable housing outcomes and more often than not, smaller homes with less maintenance.

“Smaller lots – especially those near high quality offsets like parks, cafes and views – are in increasing demand.

“Most of us have busy lifestyles these days and much of a family’s spare time is now structured around kids’ sport, after school activities and homework.”

Lifestyle changes like swapping out kicking the footy in the backyard with heading to the gym and meeting people at local cafes and restaurants instead of hosting dinner parties at home have also reduced the demand for large living areas and homes.

“Besides, we are spending more and more time in front of our digital screens and less leisure time outdoors or with friends/relatives. Well at least not face to face,” Mr Matusik says.

“And if the car hiring and car sharing trends are taken up by the mainstream, then less private land will be needed for the second or third car. Cars aside, these trends are also driving allotment sizes smaller. Pun intended.”

This trend explains the big uptake of terrace-style houses in new developments like Stockland’s Aura and Avid Property Group’s Harmony. Casting his eye to the future, Mr Matusik says the next decade will see three times more land allotments allocated to terrace plots with a median size of 250m2.

In the past decade, these sizes have made up five per cent of the land makeup in southeast Queensland and he predicts the next decade will see that rise to 15 per cent while traditional allotments of 650m2 will drop from 30 per cent down to 10 per cent.

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