The property market has experienced a surprising upswing on the Sunshine Coast this year, when more buyers have zeroed in on a specific type of home.
Data from PropTrack has revealed that property prices in the region increased 3.3 per cent this year and are 1.6 per cent higher year on year, to the end of September.
PropTrack director economic research Cameron Kusher says the figures are unforeseen.
“The rebound in prices has been somewhat unexpected,” he says.
“It has been mainly driven by low levels of housing stock and a rebound in demand.”
Many buyers homed in on a niche section of the market, boosting the value of apartments by the sea.
The largest price increases for properties in the region this year were for units in ritzy coastal suburbs such as Alexandra Headland (up 7.3 per cent), Sunshine Beach (up 6.8 per cent), Twin Waters (up 5.5 per cent), Noosa Heads (up 4.7 per cent) and Mooloolaba (up 3.8 per cent).
“The increase in unit prices in these beachfront areas highlights that reduced borrowing capacities are driving buyers to more affordable units, while simultaneously highlighting that buyers are chasing blue-chip locations,” Mr Kusher said.
Apartment blocks at Mooloolaba are highly prized.
But values for some types of properties have nosedived over the past year.
Median house prices tumbled in Pacific Paradise (down 7.4 per cent), Kuluin (down 6.8 per cent), Maroochydore (down 6.2 per cent), Woombye (down 6 per cent) and Bli Bli (down 5.6 per cent).
“Most of these, except Maroochydore, are rural areas and reflect reducing demand for homes in these types of locations,” Mr Kusher says.
He says it is not unusual for one area of the market to rise while another falls.
“It comes down to what is available and buyer preferences at any given time,” he says.
“At the moment, buyers are preferring units in coastal locations.”
Mr Kusher says property prices should continue to climb, albeit at a slower rate, in months to come.
“We have seen a slowdown in price growth from recent years and we anticipate price growth will start to slow again on the Sunshine Coast (and nationally) over the next year as broader economic growth slows,” he says.
The Sunshine Coast’s recent price increases were below that of the national level.
Median home prices in Australia increased by 4.3 per cent this year, and 3.7 per cent during the past 12 months.