GOLD COAST PROPERTY MARKET UPDATE
The market for attached townhouse/villa and apartment product on the Gold Coast has steadily improved over the past two to three years. While initially, this improvement was focused on established, resale stock as these market segments improved, we have also seen improved demand shown for new unit product, particularly for new townhouses and apartments priced below $500,000.
Furthermore, while new home unit product on the Gold Coast continues to be mostly purchased by investors at price levels which are considered to be high based on local comparable market resale evidence, the firming in the established markets, has to some degree, started to bridge the gap between new and second hand dwellings. This has had a resultant positive impact on the settlement risk for ‘off the plan’ sales, with most project marketing agents reporting of reduced ‘fall over’ rate for pre-sale contracts over the 2014 and first half of 2015 period.
Local real estate agents confirm that prevailing conditions in most market segments on the Gold Coast are buoyant, reflecting improved levels of demand, increased sale volumes, shorter selling periods, reduced stock availability and upward pressure on sale price levels.
As a reflection of the favorable market conditions, there are a number of new medium and highrise apartment projects currently being marketed on the coast, and most specialist marketing agents are reporting of good sale volumes for product priced below $500,000 and that there has been price growth in recent releases over the past six to 12 months. The concern now lies as to the number of projects which are proposed and as to whether the demand will continue to sustain the potential future supply of new product.
In the established market segments, potential opportunities still appear for resale residential apartments in central beachside locations between Burleigh Heads and Main Beach, particularly for highrise stock in large yield buildings. The reality being that the sheer volume of resale stock that can be on the market at any one time in these high density suburbs, or in a particular building, can keep a ceiling on price levels, despite the surging detached housing market in the same areas.
These areas all benefit from excellent location attributes and amenity and typically provide resale units with good size floor areas and at a lower price point (both quantum and on a rate per square meter), when compared to the price levels for smaller new apartments in buildings currently being marketed for sale ‘off the plan’.
Over the past two to three years, there has been a large focus on medium rise apartment buildings n the Southport CBD following the release of the streamlined Southport PDA approval process. This has led to a larger volume of approvals being issued for Southport, some of which are for very large yield highrise buildings. While development to date has focused on smaller projects, where demand appears to be adequately absorbing supply, there is a degree of concern to the overall volume of approved stock that potentially could be brought to the market if a number of the approvals were acted on. Hence, future supply levels and sale volumes for new apartments in Southport could be an area to keep an eye on.
We note, however, that there are a large number of 100 plus apartment highrise projects approved within the Southport PDA area and that a proportion of these have been obtained by ‘speculators’, with the intent to on sell the approved site, likely to overseas interests. To date, we have seen only limited local developers or lending institutions show an appetite for these larger scale developments in Southport, and the reality is that while a larger potential supply of apartments is approved for Southport, a number of the proposals, may in fact, not be acted on in the current development cycle.
In the improved market, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of proposed fringe residential apartment projects in areas which are traditionally regarded as more suburban low density housing locations. These projects are predominantly being developed in multiple low and medium rise apartment buildings where construction can be staged in 12 month construction phases, and produce new units at lower prices. These projects have generally met with good sale results, particularly for the central periphery areas of Varsity Lakes, Robina, Bundall and Harbour Quays, which benefit from significant existing amenities, shopping facilities and transport infrastructure.
We comment that a large portion of new apartment projects on the Gold Coast are progressively providing smaller apartment product when compared to historical standards, in an effort to suit changing market preferences with a greater focus on lower price points.
Interestingly, while we have seen a significant recent increase in the emergence of new apartment projects released on the Gold Coast over the past 12 months, there has been limited new medium density projects appear in the market. However, the absence of new released townhouse/villa development is not considered to be an indication of a slowing market. Rather, the market for new medium density dwellings has been strong over the past few years, however the now very limited supply of townhouse development sites, coupled with the increased appetite for new apartment product in established residential areas, has resulted in a limited pipeline of new projects.
Of those projects which have been released in the market, most are situated in Robina, Carrara and Hope Island and provides new units priced greater than $450,000 and mostly, in excess of $500,000. In the very low interest rate environment, this product appeals to both investors attracted to the good rental returns and also, to owner-occupiers who have been increasingly priced out of the detached housing market. Furthermore, a number of new releases within these projects have sold out ‘off the plan’, prior to construction being completed.
The majority of new construction on the Gold Coast is within the growth region from Hope Island north to Beenleigh and west to the Scenic Rim.
Generic project housing varies in price firstly as a result of who the client is and then by the quality of inclusions. Traditional project home companies generally provide better value than house and land investor packages, but not always. Valuation of off the plan housing can be a minefield as rates for very similar products can range from $1,100 per square metre to over $1,600 per square metre. At the end, the valuation assessment (including the land) relies on sales evidence of similar nearby houses, with an allowance made for age and condition.
Looking back to the costs discussed in the 2009 Month in Review, building costs do appear to have increased at the lower end of the scale, but perhaps not a great deal for the prestige and higher quality market.
In Helensvale, estates such as River Links and The Peninsula have been established over the past ten years and most of the vacant sites remaining will be developed in the next few years.
These estates have building covenants which attract architecturally designed and quality project packages that range on a rate per square metre basis from $1,100 to $1,700 for living area. These dwellings will mostly feature attractive mixed cladding, stone benchtops throughout, ducted air-conditioning and often leave landscaping and pool packages outside the building contract.
These estates have smaller lot sizes ranging from roughly 300 square metres to 600 square metres and therefore attract investors, project builders and turnkey packages.
These building contracts are typically $200,000 to $275,000. Floor plans are usually compact 3-bedroom plus study or 4-bedroom, with bathroom, en suite, double garage and small covered patio. Ground improvement inclusions are basic fencing, aggregate driveway, turfed lawn and water tank. The rates per square metre of living are generally $1,000 to $1,200 which has crept up from our previous review in 2009. Builders and developers have reported that the cost is generally higher due to raw materials costs and green compliance.
Far Northern M1 Corridor
There are numerous new estates in the far northern corridor between the Gold Coast and Brisbane with vast quantities of new dwellings under construction. The suburbs where most of this construction is underway include Ormeau, Ormeau Hills, Pimpama, Coomera and Holmview.
Most dwellings in these suburbs fall into two categories, being either investor stock or owner occupier properties. Investor properties typically comprise a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom onground dwelling with a double lock up garage and usually have a more average standard of fitout, ie laminate benchtops and cupboards and brick exterior. Building rates per square metre vary widely with some builders taking advantage of unsuspecting investors purchasing properties sight unseen. Costs can range from between $1,000 per square metre to $1,300 per square metre of living area for very similar constructions. Trends worth noting in this investor section of the market are that specifications are starting to upgrade with stone benchtops and render to the street front aspect of the dwelling becoming more commonplace. Additionally dwellings and lot sizes are becoming smaller with the smallest known allotment available being a 213 square metre block in Holmview.
Owner occupier properties, as expected, tend to have a higher level standard of finish with property owners opting for features such as ducted air conditioning, stone benchtops, high ceilings and good quality light fittings. Building rates per square metre are more alike for dwellings built for owner occupation which may point to property owners shopping around and comparing prices from more than one builder. Most dwellings constructed by owner occupiers have analysed building rates of between $1,100 to $1,250 per square metre.
There is limited prestige residential locations in the far northern corridor between the Gold Coast and Brisbane other than the estates offering allotments with canal frontage in Jacobs Well and Coomera Waters. The standard of finish increases in these estates with rates per square metre reflecting this and generally falling between $1,300 and $1,400 per square metre.
Building costs have definitely increased since our 2009 edition on the same topic. This edition quotes rates of between $900 and $1,000 per square metre.
North Western M1 Corridor
This area is seeing a number of existing estates releasing new stages and the emergence of new estates. Existing estates with new stages include Riverstone Crossing (Maudsland), Highland Reserve and Coomera Springs. These estates are showing consistent land value increases, particularly Riverstone Crossing. Park Central at Oxenford is a new estate on Kopps Road which has reportedly nearly sold out, predominantly to investors.
New dwellings are being purchased by owner- occupiers and investors alike. For owner occupiers build rates tend to show $1,000 to $1,250 per square metre for a turn key product. Build rates for the larger building firms who offer inclusions such as stone benchtops and air-conditioning remain competitive and within market parameters. Higher levels of inclusions tend to be at the higher end of the scale sometimes even reaching $1,300 per square metre depending on where or in which estate the proposed dwelling is situated. Features such as ducted air conditioning become the norm at this level.
Build rates for investor stock tend to vary greatly between builders. Asking rates tend to range between $1,000 and $1,500 per square metre, some of which are well beyond market parameters. There are often significant differentials between levels of finishes and standards of inclusions which is often attributed to the product being sold to investors. Generally rates adopted for brick and tile entry level dwellings as a turn key product are valued at circa $1,000 to $1,200 per square metre depending on size. An as if complete duplex pair was recently valued at circa $1,050 per square metre of living area which is very competitive. In this area, there is very limited upper end product hence build rates would rarely be expected to top $1,300 unless in exceptional circumstances.
Build costs have increased since 2009 at a fairly consistent rate. It was generally accepted that during the GFC it was land values, rather than build rates which declined. There is still evidence suggesting that people are purchasing existing product below replacement cost.
Southern Gold Coast and Tweed Coast
There are a number of new and developing residential estates on the Tweed Coast at present, and a very small number on the southern Gold Coast. The majority of new construction is in the Casuarina and Kingscliff/Salt precinct in which the majority of properties are to be owner occupied or holiday lock up style homes. Land prices are very strong and in some cases, prices have almost doubled in value since 2012.
For a basic, single level, brick and timber dwelling with metal or tiled roof construction you are looking at a cost of approximately $1,100 to $1,300 per square metre on a gross floor area basis, with project home builders such as GJ Gardner, Perry Homes etc. This cost obviously increases with a higher quality of finish. For $1,100 to $1,300 per square metre, you are looking at laminate cabinetry, stone benchtops to kitchen, laminate benchtops to bathrooms, split system air-conditioning and other basic modern fixtures.
Builders constructing a higher end product are charging much higher rates, in the vicinity of $1,600 to $2,000 per square metre on a gross floor area basis. This may be for an architecturally designed dwelling with voids over living areas, high raked ceilings, ducted air-conditioning and high quality inclusions.
New luxury housing construction is on the rise. This is occurring as demolition and rebuild in the central waterfront suburbs of Paradise Waters, Isle of Capri, Broadbeach Waters, Palm Beach, or the beachside at Mermaid Beach.
These attract owner occupiers who, with leading architects, design and construct luxury homes ranging in size up to 1,100 square metres. Many of the houses are full concrete construction with basement carparks. Breakdown of building contracts analyse from a low of $1,600 to $4,000 per square metre for the living areas. Generally, construction rates per square metre have not increased markedly over the past five years due to less demand.
With two satellite cities in the area, Yarrabilba and Flagstone, and the release of the new master planned community of Oakdale Estate at Beaudesert, the Scenic Rim and Lower Logan area is going through a construction boom at the moment. These types
of estates give rise to the standard project builder, however over recent years, the stereotype of a basic, run of the mill house at a fixed rate has changed dramatically.
There are two distinct levels of project builders in these estates. The first is the investment product builder who offers a standard level of finishes typically being basic stone benchtops, stainless steel appliances, ceilings fans, two split system air conditioners and a full turn key product including landscaping, fencing and driveway. Rates per square metre for this style of dwelling typically range from around $1,000 to $1,250 for living area depending on the size of the dwelling and site issues (such as small lots where materials need to be walked in by the trades).
The second project builder is now moving more in to the custom range type of construction. While still offering good rates per square metre and a base series of plans to choose from, the end product is definitely determined by individual taste and budget. Buyers have the option to finish the house themselves with their choice of carpet, main floor area tiling, landscaping and driveways or have the builder complete a turn key product. These dwellings are typically larger than the investment product with more features such as high ceilings, stacking or bi- folding doors to external areas and better quality of finish. The economy of scale kicks in here, with these builders being able to offer a customised product at not much more than a project builder due to the larger living area sizes and the benefit of bulk buying power and negotiation with suppliers. Builders that fit into this category typically have a good presence in the display villages.
Moving on to the more established areas, there tends to be the emergence of the custom builder for second, third and above home buyers who know exactly what they want in their home and want the ability to deal directly with the builder through each step of the process. These homes are typically larger and well appointed with good quality fittings and more creature comforts such as fireplaces, polished timber floors, high ceilings with architectural features, top of the range appliances and an individual look and feel. Rates per square metre vary significantly in this category as some of the project builders are beginning to offer a more customised home for around $1,500 per square metre, but can be in excess of $2,000 per square metre depending on the features and inclusions.
For example, a custom built, midset, Hardiplank and Colorbond, Colonial reproduction 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home of 188 square metres of living, 38 square metres of outdoor and deck and a 40 square metre garage was contracted at $444,760 and included water tanks and sewerage system. This equates to a rate of around $2,000 per square metre. For a project style, two level, brick and Colorbond home with 4-bedrooms, 2-bathrooms and 271 square metres of living, 33 square metres of outdoor area and a 37 square metre double garage was $385,117 and excluded floor coverings, water tank and sewerage system. This contract equates to a rate of $1,250 per square metre of living area – a lot more home but without the inclusions of the custom builder.
Across the southern Gold Coast and in northern New South Wales there are opportunities for investors and owner occupiers to purchase property in the $500,000 price range. The areas with the greatest demand are Burleigh Waters, Miami, Palm Beach, Elanora, Salt and Casuarina. These suburbs are well located close to amenities and the beach. The areas should offer reasonable growth if held for the long term. An example of short term growth is a property located at 7 Kelburn Close, Banora Point which sold in March 2014 for $527,000 in below average condition. The dwelling has been partly renovated since sale date (new bathroom and general tidy up works completed) and is currently under contract for $665,000 as at May 2015.
Perhaps you’re looking for return on your investment like so many interstate investors of late. In the southern Logan market around Beenleigh and Eagleby, for a lazy $500,000 you can buy yourself not one but two investment properties. Here are a couple of very recent examples:
43 Temma Street, Eagleby is under contract as at June 2015 for $240,000 in fair condition. Property comprises a basic, on ground, circa 1984, brick and metal roof dwelling with 3-bedrooms, 1-bathroom and 1-car carport with a tenant currently paying $310 per week.
25 Chapman Drive, Beenleigh sold in May 2015 at auction for $250,000 in fair condition. Property comprises a basic, on ground, circa 1984, brick and metal roof dwelling with 3-bedrooms, 1-bathroom and 1-car carport. Agent advises tenant will happily pay $320 per week. For a total purchase price of $490,000 you get a gross yield of 6.68%. Not bad!
Recent market activity has seen some suburbs which may have previously been overlooked for some owner occupiers, increase in value to figures above 2007/2008 price levels. For example 61 Macquarie Avenue, Molendinar was purchased for $550,000
in November 2008 and has recently gone under contract for $610,000 in largely the same condition. Other similar suburbs that have recently seen a jump in entry level prices include Coombabah and Helensvale, with first home buyers (in most cases) having been pushed further out, away from more central and coastal suburbs.
Another example of market movement can be seen in the recent sale (under contract) of 8110 Magnolia Gardens Court, Hope Island, being an attached townhouse with golf course frontage, for $478,000 having last sold in September 2013 for $425,000 with only some light refurbishment in between.
Local agents are consistently reporting having more potential purchasers than properties to sell, which poses the question… Where to next for first home buyers? Eagleby perhaps.
Labrador offers good opportunity for investors with some 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom walk-up style units selling in the early to mid $200,000 range and being let for over $300 per week, often in original condition and within walking distance of the Broadwater.
There has been considerable improvement in property values for residential property in the more central areas of the Gold Coast over the past 12 months. With this firming in the market, the opportunities to buy a freestanding dwelling on 500 square metres of land for around $500,000 or less within well-located suburbs such as Benowa, Mermaid Waters and Robina are now becoming extremely limited. Local real estate agents are still reporting strong levels of demand for this type of residential property and stock levels are very low which has inevitably put upward pressure on property prices. Investing in entry level detached housing in this price range in the central suburbs of the Gold Coast has always been a solid option.
Examples of detached housing which have sold for $500,000 or less in the past couple of months include:
1 Chadstone Place, Robina sold in March for $500,000. Comprises a single storey, circa 1990, brick 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom dwelling with 2-car garage. Updated bathroom and pool. Land area of 482 square metres. Previously sold in September 2012 for $425,000;
10 Piccabeen Close, Robina sold in March 2015 for $490,000. Comprises a single storey, circa 2001, rendered brick 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom dwelling with double lock-up garage. Land area of 517 square metres. Previously sold in January 2013 for $415,500.
135 Bamboo Avenue, Benowa sold in May 2015 for $425,000. Comprises a small, single storey, circa 1980, brick 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom dwelling with 1-car carport. Original kitchen and bathroom. Land area of 598 square metres.
With increasingly limited reasonably priced opportunities available for detached housing in the central areas, buyers will be required to negotiate quickly or will be forced to look into a different property type such as a townhouse or villa.
Townhouse units or villas in the central parts of the Gold Coast are still considered to be good options provided that the associated body corporate costs are relatively low. Local agents advise that these properties are also in good demand and stick levels are relatively low, but buyers will likely find it much easier to find an opportunity at less than $500,000, which still offers good capital growth potential and a sound rental return.
Examples of townhouses or villas which have sold for $500,000 or less in the past couple of months include:
23/103 Salerno Street, Surfers Paradise sold in February 2015 for $407,000. Subject property comprises a two level, circa 2000, 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom townhouse and 1-car garage and 1-car carport. This is a gated complex with various facilities. Previously sold in June 2009 for $420,000.
56/7 Elliott Street, Surfers Paradise sold in January 2015 for $435,000. Comprises a two level, circa 2001 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom townhouse with 1-car garage. This is a gated complex with various facilities. Previously sold in December 2012 for $395,000.
28/34 Albicore Street, Mermaid Waters sold in February 2015 for $490,000. Comprises a single storey, circa 2000, 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom villa with 2-car garage. This is a gated complex with common swimming pool.
Overall it is quite clear that market confidence has picked up again and with interest rates still predicted to remain low, property investment on the Gold Coast should provide a solid option for those owner occupiers or investors willing to spend a lazy half million.
The Gold Coast was one of the hardest hit regions of Australia following the GFC, with mortgagee in possession sale rates running above 6%. With the world financial situation, banks tightening their lending and LVR parameters, the Australian dollar soaring in value, the commodity boom and tourism being particularly hard hit, the perfect storm was unleashed.
However, that all seems to be well behind us now as the property market has recovered and turned upwards. Prices are well off the bottom across all residential property categories. Land values on the Gold Coast are reported to have increased by 10.7% over the past year according to the Queensland Valuer General’s 2015 annual report dated 5 March 2015.
Very positive economic changes have been driving the property market on the Gold Coast including:
- Increasing population. Current Gold Coast population is now at 535,000 (source: Gold Coast City Council web site) with projections of a population of circa 680,000 by 2021 (source: Queensland Office of Economy and Statistical Research Population Prediction Report dated 2011).
- Tourism is back stimulated by the lower Australian dollar and strengthened by new international flights direct to China and other parts of Asia.
- Increase in building development and infrastructure projects.
- Increase in number of new homes being built and apparent increase in number of substantial renovations of dwellings.
- Increased international investors including the very influential and growing Chinese investment market and cashed up Auckland based Kiwis.
- Increased interstate buyers with many cashed up investors from the very buoyant Melbourne and Sydney markets.
- Predictions of improving employment in the tourism sector and also boosted by the impending 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The increase in volume of transactions is particularly evident since the September 2013 federal election. According to our data, purchasers still favour the sub $500,000 price bracket which accounts for 71.5% of transactions, compared to 23.5% for $500,000 to $1 million and 5% over $1 million. While the prestige residential market proportionately accounts for a small part of the market in terms of number of transactions, the prices are on the rise on the back of overseas investors, locals and interstate buyers taking a shine to mostly waterfront houses and a limited number of luxury high rise units. Examples of sales in 2015 include:
- 123 Albatross Ave, Mermaid Beach $4,100,000
- 93 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach $5,600,000
- 25 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach $5,000,000
- 13 Oceanview Easement, Mermaid Beach $3,560,000
- 1 Surf St, Mermaid Beach $8,420,000
- 129 Jefferson Lane, Palm Beach $3,750,000
- 201 Monaco Street, Broadbeach Waters $5,800,000
- 247 Monaco Street, Broadbeach Waters $3,000,000
- 102 Amalfi Dr, Isle of Capri $3,300,000
36 Southern Cross Dr, Cronin Island $3,350,000
- 98 Admiralty Dr, Paradise Waters $3,200,000
- 25 Buccaneer Ct, Paradise Waters $3,600,000
- 117 Commodore Dr, Paradise Waters $6,600,000
- 37 Norsemann Court, Paradise Waters $3,000,000
- 31 Hampton Court, Sovereign Islands $4,000,000
- 64 The Sovereign Mile, Sovereign Islands $3,400,000
- 46 Shearwater Esp, Runaway Bay $3,490,000
- 100 Regatta Pde, Southport $3,100,000
- Nirvana by the Sea Penthouse, Coolangatta $3,755,000
- Liberty Pacific Penthouse, Main Beach $3,300,000
- Soul Penthouse, Surfers Paradise $7,000,000
CENTRAL GOLD COAST
Growth has been solid throughout 2015 in the central areas of the Gold Coast as a result of increased demand across all property types within the area. The main reasons for this increased demand include the reduction of interest rates, improvements in rental returns and increased overseas investments in new developments.
Broadbeach Waters, Mermaid Beach and Mermaid Waters have seen strong growth (25% to 35% increase in land values). An example of this is 145 Allambi Avenue, Broadbeach Waters which sold for $760,000 in August 2013 and was recently resold for $1,015,000 with no improvements to the property.
The unit market in Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise has seen improvement in the lower price points in smaller developments. Most of these sales were to local and interstate investors as the rental returns were covering mortgage and body corporate costs. The larger high rise developments are still seeing limited growth due to the high body corporate rates restricting the overall investment appeal. We should see increased growth in holiday units as building managers are reporting a decrease in vacancy rates as more tourists come to the Gold Coast.
Robina, typically a popular location for young families, has also seen strong growth as it is within close proximity of amenities such as schools, shopping centres and transport. In recent months demand for rental properties has increased and vacancy rates have dropped as more construction jobs are available on the Gold Coast due to new developments. For example the average townhouse rental rate has increased $20 to $30 per week across all developments.
The majority of new developments across the central areas are showing high sale rates with developments like Sunland’s Concourse Villas/Marina Residences and Robina Land Corp’s City Village and Riverlilly selling out within a few months. The majority of buyers have been overseas investors, although we are seeing an increase in owner occupiers looking to downsize from the family home and first home buyers.
NORTHERN COASTAL (SOUTHPORT TO HOPE ISLAND)
This year the Northern Coastal area has performed very well to date. Sales agents continue to report a general lack of sales stock with improved buyer activity putting upward pressure on values. Notable changes have been a significant reduction of time to sell with many listed properties selling within just a few days. Some properties are selling sight unseen by interstate investors, something not seen since the 2007 boom period and we are also seeing multiple offers and properties selling prior to auction. The strongest performing property categories have been:
- Vacant residential allotments;
- $800,000 to $1,500,000 market range; and
- Lightly improved sites with development potential.
In one Hope Island residential estate, 500 square metre allotments that were selling for circa $250,000 are now selling for circa $290,000. Vacant allotments have jumped circa $100,000 in some of the more in demand canal estates. The traditionally more popular suburbs, generally those close to the Broadwater and Canal Estates, have been the best performers with increases estimated to be as much as 15% to 20%. The $400,000 to $600,000 range for the more typical family suburban style home has performed well. Two and three bedroom duplex units have also been in good demand. The unit market between circa $180,000 to $450,000 range appears to have improved, however, not as well as other sub market categories as stock levels remain high in some buildings. The unit market above $500,000 in the Broadwater precincts has lifted strongly with some complexes showing recovery of as much as $100,000 per unit. We note that property managers are reporting that they are now increasing rentals on properties as vacancy rates fall and demand increases. In some cases we have had reports of as many as 50 rental applications for a single property. Some of this demand has been within the more popular school zones.
We further note that the mainly established Northern Coastal property market will continue to strengthen due to the scarcity of land and influences of higher density town planning. The short term outlook is very positive.
M1 NORTH-WEST TO MOUNT TAMBORINE
Throughout the first half of 2015 the property market in the north-western Gold Coast, also known as the growth corridor continued to strengthen with agents generally reporting a shortage of stock and strong buyer activity.
Modern dwellings close to infrastructure such as schools and shopping centres appear to be the best performing. Notable estates include Highland Reserve, Riverstone Crossing and Coomera Springs. These estates all comprise predominantly modern dwellings of above average quality with good surrounding infrastructure. Prices in these estates range from $450,000 to $600,000 with an average increase in value over the past 24 months of approximately 10% to 15%.
Vacant land also appears to have strengthened throughout Upper Coomera and Maudsland with land becoming scarce. The more popular estates include Riverstone Crossing, Stone Creek, Coomera Retreat and Highland Reserve.
A notable sale is 16 Murray Circuit, Upper Coomera. This is a vacant 604 square metre allotment which sold mortgagee in possession on 27 August 2012 (arguably the bottom of the market) and is currently under contract for $202,000. This is a reflection of the increasing demand for vacant allotments.
Mount Tamborine appears to have stabilized with an increase in the volume of sales, however there has been no notable increase in values. These types of regional areas generally appear to have a bit of lag in market segment conditions compared to the local markets.
House and land packages remain the most concerning segment. Inferior quality estates in Upper Coomera and Pimpama continue to see large volumes of interstate investors paying a premium for new product. We are also seeing very small lot sizes in these areas (as small as 250 square metres). This product is relatively untested with little to no re-sales to gauge how this style of product will be viewed by the local market.
UPPER NORTHERN CORRIDOR
The first six months of 2015 was generally considered a positive period for the upper northern corridor. Investors have continued to increase their appetites for house and land packages within recently established residential estates. To fulfil this appetite, developers have decreased lot sizes as evidenced in the new stages of The Meadows at Pimpama and Yarrabilba at Yarrabilba, with some lot sizes below 250 square metres. On the other side of the spectrum residential estates such as Gainsborough Greens at Pimpama and Ormeau Ridge at Ormeau Hills have retained lot sizes or only marginally reduced sizes due to these estate attracting a higher percentage of owner occupiers.
Recent sales include:
- 6 Leland Street, Yarrabilba: 250 square metre allotment that sold for $110,500 in January 2015.
- 38 Leland Street, Yarrabilba: 250 square metre allotment that sold for $110,500 in January 2015.
- 13 Matas Drive, Pimpama: 300 square metre allotment that sold for $188,500 in January 2015.
Although there have been no settled sales within Pimpama of allotments below 250 square metres it is present within the new stages.
Values of rural residential properties in the upper northern corridor have remained stable within the first six months of 2015. A number of real estate agents in the area have complained about lack of stock on the market or set to go to the market.
Owners of rural residential properties in the area are optimistic about changes to upcoming or recently implemented planning schemes; there is optimism that some areas within the historically rural residential only areas could see a reduction in the required lot size per dwelling, therefore increasing the potential to subdivide or construct an additional dwelling on the lot.
Rental amounts in the area remain steady as infrastructure is being approved, on the drawing board or is currently under construction. An example of this is in the Yarrabilba Estate, with the planned kindergarten currently under construction and the recent sale of the school site and shopping centre site. The development of amenities such as these should increase rental amounts in the direct vicinity.
If the first six months are anything to go by, the upper northern corridor will continue to grow in terms of number of dwellings, however there is potential that a trend to decrease allotment sizes will continue and in turn increase the developer’s gain.
Established residential suburbs in the upper northern corridor including Eagleby, Edens Lands and Mount Warren Park have continued to attract owner occupiers. Real estate agents in these areas are noticing reduced time on the market if the property is reasonably priced. Beenleigh is considered the central business district of the upper northern corridor and has historically remained a sleeping giant for the area. The Beenleigh Town Centre has continued to attract foreign and interstate investment with high purchase prices being noted and purchases of multiple neighbouring properties.
SOUTHERN GOLD COAST AND TWEED COAST
In 2015 there has been a continued improvement in the residential property market across most but not all sectors.
Vacant land has perhaps been strongest with the majority of estates having been sold out or close to selling out. There is reportedly no developer stock available at Casuarina and very strong resales.
There has been a recent resale of a 500 square metre allotment in The Pocket for $520,000 which was originally purchased off the plan for approximately $395,000. There has been an improvement in prices for vacant land at Terranora as demand is now stronger than supply. The Hidden Valley estate at Tallebudgera is almost sold out. Sales have been strong at The Observatory and Varsity Heights Estates at Reedy Creek and also strong at Palm Beach Heights at Elanora.
From Miami to Pottsville the housing sector has continued to improve throughout 2015, being strongest in the under $750,000 price bracket. In most localities, demand is outstripping supply. In many cases sales evidence is not directly supporting new sales, particularly on the Tweed Coast.
There has also been strong sales activity in the over $750,000 price bracket in waterfront localities such as Currumbin Waters, Palm Beach and Burleigh Waters.
Duplex units have been selling well across the board along with townhouse or villa units in small complexes. There is currently a new duplex unit under contract at Palm Beach for $800,000, with very limited sales evidence to support this sale price.
Sales activity and market demand for low rise units in the under $400,000 price bracket is average. There has recently been some strong sales activity for low rise units along The Esplanade at Burleigh Heads. There have also been some gains in well located high- rise units. There is a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom unit in the rear Ambience building at Burleigh Heads under contract for $730,000, which previously sold in June 2011 for $625,000.
Caution remains for low rise and high rise units in larger, older buildings in secondary locations where high body corporate fees may apply. Local agents are reporting limited levels of demand for these properties.
There are a number of positive factors currently influencing the property market on the Southern Gold Coast and Tweed Coast including historically low interest rates, population growth and improvement in the local economy.
Overall, the prestige market on the Gold Coast is tracking along okay. Market conditions improved considerably throughout 2014 with a number of high profile properties selling. We have also seen an increase in sale prices compared with the sales occurring in 2012 at the bottom of the market.
Prestige on the Gold Coast varies from suburb to suburb in terms of dollar value. What is considered prestige in the northern corridor would be considered only good quality in the central areas.
We have broken the Gold Coast down into three areas which can be summarised as follows:
The prestige sector in the northern corridor between the Gold Coast and Brisbane is limited to two estates, the already established Coomera Waters in Coomera and the developing Calypso Bay in Jacobs Well. Both estates feature prestige dwellings on canal front allotments with an entry point of approximately $1 million. Presently there is no market for prestige units in the northern corridor.
The prestige housing sector is starting to gain momentum after a long period of quiet activity. Agents are reporting a considerable increase in demand from buyers with house prices starting to reflect accordingly. An example of this is 59 Westward Way, Coomera, a large, high quality, two storey, 5-bedroom, 4-bathroom dwelling situated on a 1,054 square metre allotment with a southerly canal aspect that sold for $1,450,000 on 6 January 2015. The last recorded sale for this property was $1.25 million in August 2013.
There has been considerably less sales activity in Jacobs Well, however the highest recent recorded sale of a prestige dwelling was in the Calypso Bay estate with 93 Marina Parade, Jacobs Well achieving $1.69 million on 13 June 2014.
The current record low interest rates in conjunction with an increase in market conditions in the low to mid range of the market can be seen as contributing factors in the increase in value and activity in the prestige sector in the northern corridor.
If market conditions remain as they currently are, it can be predicted that the prestige housing sector of the northern corridor will continue to see an increase in sales volumes and value. As developed estates such as Coomera Waters run out of vacant land, buyers are starting to construct more dwellings in the Calypso Bay estate.
To sum up, the not too distant future is looking good for both of these estates.
Central Gold Coast
The prestige market on the central Gold Coast has continued to strengthen from the bottom of the market in 2012. Properties that are receiving the most attention are modern dwellings built to a high standard in areas such as Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach Waters and Mermaid Beach. Sales activity over the past 12 months for these central suburbs has seen prestige dwellings selling from around the $2 million mark up to $7 million.
A notable recent sale is 117 Commodore Drive, Surfers Paradise, which went under contract in March this year for $6.6 million.
The types of property demanding these high prices are ones that are located either on the Nerang River, have a wide canal frontage with a favourable aspect or have beach frontage, such as properties located along Hedges Avenue in Mermaid Beach.
The prestige unit market on the central Gold Coast has also seen an increase in market activity after the market bottomed in 2012. Prestige units can commonly be found in Surfers Paradise, Main Beach and Broadbeach. Although the unit market is seeing increased activity we do notice the property still needs to be priced competitively to achieve a sale. The type of unit you would typically expect to buy in the prestige market would be a penthouse or sub-penthouse, a unit located in a development with beach frontage or units that occupy a whole floor. Selling prices achieved during 2014 and into 2015 for prestige units have been around the $1 million to $3 million mark.
Two notable recent sales include:
- 4701/1 Oracle Boulevard,Broadbeach.This unit is one of the sub-penthouses in the modern development known as The Oracle at Broadbeach. The property sold in November 2014 for $3 million. This property was originally sold by the developer for $4,390,000 in October 2010.
- The Soul penthouse in Surfers Paradise recently sold for $7 million. The unit was stripped back to a shell so the purchaser could fit it out to their specification. The unit was initially under contract for $16.85 million in 2006 however this sale fell through.
You may ask yourself who is buying all this nice property? We are generally seeing a mix of overseas, interstate and local buyers. For new construction overseas buyers (especially Chinese) are still prominent and the interstate and local buyers are generally looking for property that fundamentally shows good value.
Looking ahead for the prestige market, the movement of interest rates and the level of supply will play a critical role in the overall performance. Interest rates are currently low, supply levels are decreasing and buyer demand is on the up, so as
a result we are seeing the top end of the market move more strongly into the recovery phase of the property cycle.
Southern Gold Coast/Northern New South Wales
The prestige market on the southern end of the Coast is showing positive signs of recovery after a tough few years. We saw value levels and market conditions fall sharply through 2011 and 2012 and appeared to bottom out at the end of 2012.
Typically the prestige houses are located on the beachfront in these parts and include Palm Beach, Currumbin, Tugun and Bilinga where $2 million plus would be classed as prestige. A notable sale was 14 James Street, Currumbin which recently sold for $5.1 million after being listed for sale for over 12 months. The property last sold for $8.2 million in February 2010.
Prestige units are also found on the beachfront however also include Kirra, Coolangatta and Tweed Heads (Rainbow Bay) where $1.5 million will buy you a large 3- or 4-bedroom unit of circa 200 square metres. A notable unit sale was by a Mr Robert Slater or more commonly known as Kelly Slater who recently purchased a beachfront unit in Palm Beach for $2.15 million. For privacy reasons, we will keep the address a secret.
We have seen a lot more positivity in the prestige market with a lot more buyer confidence. As you can see from some of the sales, we are still quite a way off value levels which were being achieved between 2007 and 2010 however things are looking up. If interest rates stay where they currently are throughout the year then there is no reason why 2015 should not be a better year than 2014.
There are a number of current residential land estates available for buyers in this area including Miramar and Seaside estates at Casuarina/Kingscliff, Seabreeze and Black Rocks at Pottsville, Palm Beach Heights at Elanora and The Observatory, Kingsmore and Varsity Heights estates at Reedy Creek.
Each estate offers a different style of product and prices have strengthened in each of the estates over the past 18 months. Agents who market properties in the estates now have a shortage of supply and increased demand for the land.
For example, there were a number of sales of vacant allotments (non beachfront) in Casuarina in 2012 and 2013 in the early to mid $200,000s, however the reduced stock available (significant construction at present) and increased demand have seen prices rise towards the $400,000 mark (some selling above).
A sale of note is 35 Daybreak Boulevard at Casuarina which is a beachfront parcel of 945 square metres. It was sold from the developers (Villa World) in January 2014 for $625,000 and re-sold in November 2014 for $775,000, a price hike of $150,000 in 11 months (24% increase within a year)!
On the southern Gold Coast, there is a new developing residential estate at Tallebudgera known as Hidden Valley which is relatively small (only 25 lots of 600 square metres), however, this is the first A type subdivision in many years as the majority of surrounding properties are on allotments greater than 2,000 square metres. Lots are selling quickly in the estate and the majority of buyers are from the local area. In regard to infill land markets in the southern Gold Coast patch, there is a limited number of opportunities remaining and the only option is to head west.
Most of the central and western areas of the Gold Coast are established areas with very few sites available. The biggest new estate in this area is the Gilston Green estate. Prices there two years ago were stable at around $200,000 up to $230,000 for local buyers. Non-local investors were paying $245,000 plus for the land portion of a house and land package.
Since late last year the market has strengthened with locals competing with non-local investors and prices now start at around $255,000. A new residential precinct within the Royal Pines Golf Course Estate at Benowa has recently commenced marketing, offering single residential and duplex sites. Our office has so far valued only one duplex site of 588 square metres under contract to a Chinese buyer for $540,000 which was not supported. This site backs onto a new supermarket currently in the initial stages of construction with the earthworks started. Previously duplex block sales were achieving around $520,000 for 800 square metres in a superior position within the estate.
Up in Pacific Pines we are seeing new estates selling house and land packages to mainly foreign investors. The land is selling for between $225,000 and $235,000 which is at local market levels. We note that construction costs for the improvements have been analysed out after making allowances for garaging, patios and ground improvements to over $1,600 per square metre of living area for a single level brick dwelling which is excessive and should be around $1,100 per square metre.
Heading further north to Pimpama and two of the major estates are Meadows and Gainsborough Greens. Sales activity has skyrocketed over the past six months in these estates as market conditions continue to improve and as infrastructure in the area is also improved.
Mid last year land in these estates was selling at around the $200,000 mark for a 450 square metre allotment however we have seen an increase in prices of between 5% and 10% over the past 12 months.
Buyers in the area are a mixture of investors and owner occupiers however we are seeing mainly owner occupiers buying up in the Gainsborough Greens estate.
Residential land on the Gold Coast is one of the better performing sectors of our market. Sales activity has improved and value levels have also risen. Record low interest rates and the return of southern migration has only helped this market segment and hopefully it continues just as strongly through 2015.
In general, market conditions are slightly softer now than at the end of 2014 and we may be suffering a bit of a post-Christmas hangover. We are yet to see a flow on effect of the recent interest rate cut on the property market however it is still only early days. We can only assume that market conditions will pick up in the coming weeks as interest rates are at an all-time low, everyone is now back at work after the christmas holidays, kids are back at school and hopefully the wet weather of recent weeks will have passed.
2014 was a good year for the whole Tweed Coast property market. We saw an increase in buyer activity across most market segments which led to an increase in values for most properties priced under $1 million. 2015 is shaping up to be just as good with many local real estate agents reporting limited stock on their books, having sold most properties last year. This is in contrast to areas in the Tweed Valley including Murwillumbah where market conditions remain slow. These areas have not yet felt a flow on effect from the coastal areas.
At the southern end of the Coast, the key areas for investment will likely be Tugun, Bilinga and Coolangatta in the under $600,000 price range. These areas have not yet seen the same growth in value levels as say Palm Beach and Burleigh and are areas for both owner occupiers and investors due to the proximity to the beach and airport and generally strong rental returns.
On the central Gold Coast we have seen an increase in positivity in the local property market since the rate cut but probably more so in the prestige market ($1 million and above).
Broadbeach Waters has been one of the best performing suburbs on the central Gold Coast in the past six months where values for waterfront properties have firmed considerably over the past 12 months, particularly for property priced below $1 million.
Further north first home buyers have targeted suburbs such as Southport, Labrador and Ashmore around the $400,000 to $500,000 price point. These areas provide a good standard of amenities including schools, recreation facilities and substantial retail precincts and relatively easy access to the beach, Southport CBD, Gold Coast Hospital and north and south bound M1 motorway and electric rail. Generally speaking, it appears anyone who has bought and sold a house in these areas in the preceding three years has been able to turn a profit.
We believe that investors will become more prevalent in the property market on the Gold Coast in 2015 as the cost of money has become cheaper and rental returns have increased. We have been advised by various property managers that rental levels have increased over the past six months with an undersupply of rental properties in most areas. This has led to large numbers of prospective tenants turning up to open homes with multiple offers to rent on each property.
Some advice for investors would be to steer clear of areas which saw considerable growth in value levels in 2015 (Burleigh, Miami, Mermaid Beach, Palm Beach, Broadbeach) and look further afield.
Overall, the property market on the Gold Coast is tracking along okay. We are yet to see the activity in the beginning of 2015 that we saw towards the end of 2014 however with the recent interest rate cut and talk of another cut in the next few months, we can only hope that things will pick up in the coming weeks.
The general feeling on the Gold Coast is that the residential market will steadily build momentum throughout 2015 after a fairly strong 2014. In 2014 we saw a significant increase in market activity as well as an increase in value levels in most market segments. We can only hope that interest rates do not increase significantly this year.
Looking at the southern Gold Coast, the strongest performing properties are houses in well located suburbs such as Burleigh, Palm Beach and Miami in the under $700,000 price range as well as duplex units (with no body corporate fees) priced under $500,000. These properties are expected to perform above average throughout 2015. Detached houses in the under $500,000 price bracket in other suburbs such as Tugun, Bilinga and Elanora should also perform well in 2015.
In the Tweed, Casuarina is a suburb worth following in 2015. The area has seen a significant increase in construction over the past 12 months, with many more houses to be built this year. Land values have improved considerably over the past 12 months and it will be interesting to see how the values of houses fare once the majority of land has been sold and built on. Construction on the Casuarina Town Centre is due to commence any day now and we believe this will be a major draw card for the area.
Units with high body corporate fees are the main area of concern on the southern Gold Coast.
The suburbs to watch in the central areas of the Gold Coast include Broadbeach Waters, Mermaid Beach, Mermaid Waters and Robina. We have seen circa 15% growth in some of these areas in 2014, especially entry level waterfront houses in Broadbeach Waters. This growth has been fuelled by new infrastructure such as the light rail system, extensive renovations to the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre and the buzzing café and bar precinct under the Oracle building in Broadbeach. In Robina the schools, university, train line, stadium and shopping centre are attracting young families. We believe that detached houses in the $500,000 to $800,000 price bracket will perform well in 2015 as many buyers will be looking to upgrade from their previous houses.
The main area of concern is the new development (off the plan) unit market. This market is typically sold to investors from out of town and often does not retain its value on re-sale.
Looking to the northern parts of the Gold Coast, Biggera Waters and Runaway Bay through to Hollywell are the hot spot growth areas for 2015. These areas are well located and developers are now looking for in fill options in these established areas where land values will soar over time. The main draw card is the proximity to the Broadwater. This area provides a good standard of amenities including schools, recreation facilities and substantial retail precincts, and is within relatively easy proximity of the Southport CBD, Gold Coast Hospital and access to the north and south bound M1 motorway and electric rail. The suburbs cover a large geographical area with mainly dry, semi-modern single unit dwellings constructed between 1980 and 2000. These properties are complemented by being situated amongst some of the best canal estates and canal housing of the Gold Coast. The streets are generally wide and leafy with level topography and very easy traffic flow. Allotments typically range between 500 and 800 square metres providing ideal young middle class family environments. These areas are mainly detached dwelling suburbs with some duplex units and even fewer unit developments. We see the best advantage in detached dwellings for lifestyle and predict better capital growth in this market segment.
We would be cautious about some of the lesser quality, developing estates in Coomera and Pimpama. These areas are seeing large volumes of cheaper stock being sold to investors, many of whom come from interstate and appear to be paying a premium for new product. We are also seeing very small lot sizes in these areas, some as small as 250 square metres. This product is relatively untested with little to no re-sales to edify how this style of product will be viewed by the local market.
Out to the west, the newly released stages in the suburbs of Yarrabilba and Flagstone (Jimboomba) are priced under $400,000 for a house and land package, and represent good value for all sectors of the market. As the estates of Flagstone and Yarrabilba age, purchasers have the choice of buying
land and building or purchasing a one to four year old home that is fully established for similar price points. Both estates have options for less than $400,000 total outlay. Alternatively, the entry price
for a 4,000 square metre property with an older house is a similar cost within the established areas
of Jimboomba. This property type offers good value for money and the opportunity to add value.
Investment properties are always an area of caution and while the majority of suburbs within the Scenic Rim are not investment driven, there are a number of investment sales within the new estates. With a decrease in lot size and sale prices remaining the same, these sectors of the market are untested and in the short term should be treated with caution.
Overall, 2014 has been a good year for residential property on the Gold Coast when compared with the previous few years. 2014 has been a year of property recovery, at least in part, across most market sub groups.
The year started strongly with many local real estate agents reporting low listing stock and increased buyer demand putting upward pressure on values. The sub $500,000 price racket for both houses and units was the hottest market on the Gold Coast in 2014 with a significant increase in both first home buyers and investors, buoyed by record low interest rates and property prices coming off a low price base. Generally, we have seen an increase in value levels from 5% to 5% in this price range.
Over $1.5 million, the sales volume is on par with what we saw in 2013. This is in contrast to the volume of sales for property between $1 million and $1.5 million which has increased 16% for the same period.
The year has also seen the near sell out of Soul in Surfers Paradise and Oracle at Broadbeach resulting in a significant reduction of stock levels of new highrise units. New or near new houses are achieving a premium over older style houses especially if the property ticks all the buyer’s boxes. The prestige market is slowly improving with buyers still being fairly fickle.
We have also seen a return of the interstate buyers, mainly from Sydney and Melbourne and a growing influence at the higher end from Chinese investors.
A brief summary of our local areas:
Northern Gold Coast
Overall, residential real estate in the northern corridor between the Gold Coast and Brisbane performed well throughout 2014. Following on from a positive end to 2013, interest has remained strong throughout the year with sales agents complaining of a lack of stock, which has in turn caused values to steadily increase.
Suburbs such as Pimpama, Ormeau Hills and Coomera have fared best throughout the year with the addition of infrastructure such as local shopping centres and schools making them popular for both investors and owner occupiers. New and developing estates in these suburbs have enjoyed high levels of demand for vacant residential allotments.
The most popular property type in the northern corridor is still the 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house with a double car garage. Values have increased roughly 10% for this property type. This is in line with the predictions of February’s Month in Review, so it looks like we got it right!
There are still issues with new product, particularly townhouse units, being sold at prices in excess of market value. However, this can be attributed to sales to investors of properties sight unseen and is not reflective of how the local market is tracking.
Central Gold Coast
Throughout 2014, the property market in the central suburbs of the Gold Coast ranging from Main Beach to Mermaid Beach and out to Nerang have enjoyed some of the best market conditions experienced in the last few years. We have seen prices increase for well-located dwellings thanks to a lack of supply, low interest rates and positive market sentiment.
Properties purchased around the bottom of the market in late 2012 have seen some significant gains on resale under the current stronger market conditions. The best results have been for residential dwellings with water frontage, located near the beach or presented to a high standard.
Some notable sales are:
31 Allawah Street in Bundall. This property is an entry level 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom dwelling with 1-car garage and pool. The property is a dry block with no water frontage. It originally sold in February 2012 for $425,000 in fair condition, resold in September 2013 for $481,000 in updated condition and more recently it sold in October 2014 for $575,000 in a well presented state.
12 Francis Street in Mermaid Beach. This property is a large, modern, 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom dwelling located in a prestigious beachside locality. It sold in March 2013 for $1,300,000 and more recently resold in March 2014 for $1,450,000.
In relation to waterfront, there was a sale of vacant land at 45 Sir Bruce Small Boulevard in Benowa that transacted in February 2013 for $850,000 and has now resold in June 2014 for $905,000. The block is 930 square metres with a near level build site and has 22 metres frontage to the Nerang River.
In terms of the unit market, confidence has increased however the capital gain has not been as significant when compared to dwellings. Generally, price levels for units are still well below the levels seen during the peak of the market in 2007 and 2008.
The affordable end of the market has been a consistent performer across all suburbs with owner
occupiers and investors looking to add to their portfolios. The top end of the market over $1.5 million
has seen a modest lift in the number of transactions however market conditions remain relatively tough and we still find that vendors need to be realistic and competitively priced with other prestige areas to achieve a sale.
Southern Gold Coast
Overall, 2014 has been a good year for residential real estate in the Gold Coast’s southern areas. Market activity has been quite strong with most properties listed at realistic levels selling quite quickly.
One of the shining lights is Palm Beach. Real estate agents are continually advising of properties selling within days and weeks, not months. Most agents have very limited stock to sell. The housing market, from the cheapest to most expensive, has seen the most improvement this year.
There has been a recent sale at 88 Parnki Parade, for $1.251 million. The house is an older style lowset dwelling situated on a 1,161 square metre lakefront allotment, and with duplex zoning. In total, there have been at least ten sales over $1 million this year in Palm Beach.
At the other end of the scale, 26 Twenty Fourth Avenue, Palm Beach sold this year for $490,000. This is a small, older style, 2-bedroom cottage on a 405 square metre residential choice zoned allotment,
with the land value apportionment being $4 million. These cottages were selling for this type of money back in the peak of the market in 2007 and 2008.
On reflection, our February predictions appear to be on the mark, with gradual improvement in market conditions throughout 2014 along with increases in value levels. We can only hope that 2015 is just as strong, if not stronger.