PRD Research - Beach Town Study 2013

This report will answer the following question and more-

What are the major demographic changes over the past five years within coastal towns? Do coastal towns just attract retirees, or with the advances through new technology, are young professionals and families able to shift away from the large cities?

Overall, Australia has an ageing population, with an increase of 1.3 per cent in the portion of residents aged between 55 to 74.

Compared to five years prior Australian coastal towns have a larger portion of older residents and retirees at 6.7 per cent more than the nation.

Coastal towns also have a smaller portion of residents at 6.6 per cent, that are under the age of 45 years.

While technology has improved allowing for professionals to relocate from the larger cities, relocating retirees shifting towards the coast is still the predominant demographic trend.

Has the market shifted from being one that is contracting, to a market that is growing?

The wider trends can be easily identified when all of the coastal towns are taken as a collective. The house market appears to have shifted off the bottom of the property cycle, with increasing levels of activity and a sustained period where the median price has ceased declining. A continuing period of low interest rates should see confidence build with further increases in sales activity.

The unit market has observed a steady level of transactions over 2012, but has endured a declining median price. Compared to the higher priced house market, many unit markets provide an excellent affordable alternative for would be investors.

If so, which market has experienced the best revival in terms of activity since the financial crisis?

Hervey Bay has recorded the largest increase in house sales activity over 2012, increasing the level of transactions by 60.8 per cent. The Dunsborough-Busselton Area followed with a 51.1 per cent rise in activity.

The Dunsborough-Busselton Area experienced the largest increase in unit activity over 2012, expanding by 66.7 per cent. This was followed by the Broome Area, increasing by 39.1 per cent.

Which market has experienced the largest increase in value, if any?

Byron Bay recorded the highest median house price over the second half of 2012, at $664,000. This equates to an increase of 11.1 per cent from the previous year (up $66,500).

The Bells Beach Coastal Area recorded the highest median unit price, at $505,000. This is a rise of $65,000 more than from the previous year.