Helensvale Property Watch 2013 Q2

The following Property Watch report is the result of an investigation into the historic and current residential real estate market trends of the Helensvale Area. For the purpose of this report, the Helensvale Area encompasses the suburbs of Upper Coomera, Oxenford, Pacific Pines and Helensvale.

The Helensvale Area house market has demonstrated a mild detraction in sales volumes over the six months to 31 March 2013; however has seen improvement over 12 months, as confidence in the local market appears to be slowly returning in lieu of more favourable and affordable mortgage options. A total of 413 transactions were recorded during the March 2013 half year period, representing a 6.1 per cent decrease in volumes from the previous September 2012 period, and well below the 10 year average of 591 sales per half year period. Observing the Helensvale Area House and Land Sales Cycle, volumes for both existing and new house and land property have experienced a fall from the stimulus driven 2008/ 2009 property market. However, in recent times since the March 2010 half year period, sales have stabilised as the market regains traction from those boom times.

As evidenced by the small rise in the median price since the March 2012 period, buyers have been more inclined to take on slightly larger debt, while still targeting properties in the established sub-markets that offer more affordable options. A price point analysis undertaken for the house market indicates that over the past 12 months there has been a shift to a slightly higher price point. While the more affordable property in the price range of $350,000 to $449,000 is still where a majority of transactions are occurring (45 per cent) there has been a notable shift of buyers in the $450,000 to $499,999 price range which saw transactions jump up from 10 per cent in March 2012 to 18 per cent in March 2013. This has attributed to the rise in median price seen.

The number of new home & vacant land sales recorded during the March 2013 period was at an historic low, with only 70 transactions noted for the area. This is down a huge 24.7 per cent on the previous six month period ending September 2012. The scarcity of land in the area has assisted in supporting the median price for land somewhat. The median land price has seen slow and steady decline since the March 2011 period, finishing the March 2013 six month period at $225,000. This represents an improvement of 1.8 per cent on the previous six month period (although down 4.3 per cent on 12 months). With the median price seeing some stability, it can be seen that the lack of sales in the area is due to a lack of available supply as opposed to a more price driven market.

The Helensvale Area unit market looks like it may be beginning to plateau after a sharp contraction since the September 2011 six month period. The Area recorded a total of 91 transactions for the March 2013 period, which is 14.2 per cent down compared to 12 months previous; however is a 9.6 per cent improvement on the previous September 2012 half year period. Traditionally, the unit market has not been a large market in the Helensvale Area, average only 140 sales per six month period over the previous 10 years. While the recent improvement in sales is nowhere near the 10 year average, the affordability of the Helensvale Area unit market may continue to drive more sales into the future. At the March 2013 six month period, the median price gap between houses and units was at its largest at $131,000. With affordable mortgage options on offer as a result of low interest rates, the Helensvale Area unit market represents good value for money for first home buyers or the thrifty investor.

Not known as an investor hotspot or as a particularly strong rental market, the Helensvale postcode 4212 has consequently seen subdued year on year performance. Three bedroom houses and two bedroom units have been arguably the most reliable performers.