Sunshine switch: We're educated, employed and eager to buy

The Sunshine Coast residential property sector is well positioned to attract a new wave of educated, cashed up buyers prepared to take a position in a rejuvenated market.

Statistics have shown that the Sunshine Coast region now boasts a higher proportion of residents with either vocational or Advanced Diploma/Diploma level qualifications than both State and national averages. The gap between the number of residents with Bachelor Degree or higher level qualifications on the Sunshine Coast compared to Queensland and Australian averages has also narrowed significantly.

The influx of knowledgeable, well-educated and well-heeled prospective home owners and investors in the region has prompted a rise in enquiries and transaction activity in the 12 months to August 2013.

PRDnationwide Research Analyst Jake Beazley said that the Sunshine Coast’s professional services and skilled labour force was driving growth in an area that has been traditionally pigeon-holed as predominately a tourist or day-trip location for visitors and holiday-makers.

“The medium term outlook for the Sunshine Coast area is positive, with market participants really tapping back into the buyers’ mantra of location, location, location,” he said.

“The Sunshine Coast offers tremendous lifestyle choices and despite public perception that the local economy is dependent on tourism, research has shown that there is a reasonable level of diversification by sector, with construction, retail, education and manufacturing all well represented.”

“These new employment opportunities, combined with the state and local governments continued investment in new and upgraded infrastructure, attractive lifestyle benefits and access to a developing university and healthcare precinct have reshaped the Sunshine Coast from a place you’d visit for a week or two on holidays to a desirable place to live, work and raise a family.”

Mr Beazley’s statement was supported by evidence that the Sunshine Coast held appeal as a residential base for fly-in, fly out (FIFO) workers due to its proximity to Brisbane and regional employment hubs as the resources investment boom transitions to the production phase in areas such as Gladstone and Rockhampton.

Figures show that the population has almost doubled since thoserecorded in the 1996 census, with state and Sunshine Coast local governments and private developers investing heavily on building new infrastructure and improving existing facilities.

“There’s in excess of $3.5 billion in major infrastructure and development projects currently in the pipeline in the Sunshine Coast region,” Mr Beazley said.

“You’ve got the Sunshine Coast University Hospital precinct, the Northern Interconnector Pipeline, upgrades to the Bruce Highway, a retirement community at Mt Coolum and redevelopment of the Maroochy Boulevarde, and this is just a small sample.”

“In the case of savvy home buyers and investors, it really is shaping as a case of ‘build it and they will come’.”

PRD Project Marketing SE QLD and PRDnationwide Buderim Principal Rick Williams agreed that the Sunshine Coast was changing its image and he’d witnessed first-hand an increase in enquiry from a more sophisticated demographic.

“The operational and emerging sections of health precinct located in Birtinya are not only the largest developments of their kind in Australia, but the sustained economic benefits to the wider region from their presence will be immense,” he said.

“When you consider the population growth connected with the hospital precinct, the demand for property within close proximity will most likely outstrip supply within the next two years.
“Let’s not understate the significance of this developing area, this is a game changer for the Sunshine Coast and how our region will be regarded as it matures into a truly diverse lifestyle destination offering employment opportunities and growth across many industries and businesses.”

“I am personally proud to have our businesses associated with many projects within this area and witness first-hand how our region is changing into a sought after location with true long term economic, education and employment mechanisms fuelling this progression.”

Published on November 28, 2013