House buyers follow the sun

Queensland’s housing market is showing real signs of improvement with one of the worst markets – the Sunshine Coast –starting to bounce back. Stockland general manager for residential in Queensland Kingsley Andrew said builders had started reporting higher sales. He believed that was because the value proposition the state has been famed for, was returning. ”There was a point where it did get expensive and there was no benefit in coming to Queensland from NSW. Now there is,” Mr Andrew said. “All of our builders have had a strong improvement in sales. The next six months will be key.” While Stockland was looking to sell out of the coastal housing sites in Queensland that caused so much pain during the financial crisis, Mr Andrew said areas such as the Sunshine Coast were bouncing back. Other coastal housing developers were starting to see interstate buyers trickle back into the market Developer Halcyon, backed by prominent Gold Coast property identities Archie and Gordon Douglas, sold $7.5 million in affordable retirement homes at Bli Bli on the Sunshine Coast in one weekend. Halcyon joint managing director Bevan Geissmann said offering a diverse range of price and scale of homes, meant the developer could pitch to a broad market. A number of interstate buyers had seen the value and bought into the $90 million project which would ultimately see 170 homes built on a 22-hectare site on the Maroochy River banks. Peter Cowley and his wife Cheryl bought a 420 square-metre home with two ensuite bedrooms for $519,000. They bought the home, which is yet to be built, with cash. “We have been looking at Queensland for some time and we still think it is a buyer’s market” Mr Cowley, a retired book maker, said. “We have been trying to sell our home in Launceston and we have dropped the price on that by about $130,000 since we put it on the market,” The Cowleys had holidayed at the Sunshine Coast for 10 years and joined a growing interstate migration trend. Queensland’s net gain from interstate migration in the year to June 2012 was 11,800 persons, higher than the 6800 for the previousl2 months and the largest net interstate migration gain of any Australian states and territory. ‘This is all about lifestyle. “I have arthritis and you wouldn’t believe what the change in whether does,” he said. Other developers such as the Seymour Group had also seen a return of confidence having sold 35 land lots at its Northrise estate at Noosaville in less than a year after prices were reduced. At the Gold Coast sales activity had also returned. Comers International’s Darrell lrwin and Geoff Lamb, said sales were improving and noted the North Point estate recently achieved 60 sales in less than 12 weeks.