Beachfront markets lead growth surge

Felicity Moore


Southeast Queensland’s world-class beaches are driving median price growth for our coastal housing markets, with Noosa reining supreme with 9.6 per cent annual growth, followed by Gold Coast with 7.3 per cent annual growth and Sunshine Coast LGA with 6.8 per cent annual growth to median house prices.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said the growth surge was helped along by a boost in tourism numbers.

“Tourism is one of the largest contributors to Queensland’s gross state product (GSP), with almost 8 per cent of GSP coming from tourism. This is roughly $25 billion in the year to June 2016, which means when that sector grows it offers employment opportunities and this attracts workers who need somewhere to live,” she said.

The strong performance of the southeast corner’s coastal markets has helped drive Queensland’s growth over the past 12 months, with more than 58,000 houses sold and an annual median price growth of 2.4 per cent.

Brisbane LGA: Brisbane LGA enjoyed another year of steady sustainable growth, with the annual median house price increasing 3.1 per cent to a new high of $660,000.

This market has grown almost 30 per cent over the past five years, demonstrating solid financial returns for property owners.

The unit market has continued its softening, with the market contracting 2.6 per cent over the past year. The new annual median house price is $440,750, down from $452,500 a year ago. With more supply expected online over the next 12 months we expect this market will not firm up until mid-2019 at the earliest.

The million-dollar club welcomed new entrants this quarter, with 18 suburbs claiming a median of $1 million or above, compared with 15 suburbs last quarter. This quarter solidified growth for the sole two-million-dollar club entrant of Teneriffe and its median of $2.6 million.

  1. Ascot: $1.52 million
  2. Auchenflower: $1.09 million
  3. Balmoral: $1 million
  4. Bulimba: $1.26 million
  5. Chelmer: $1.08 million
  6. Clayfield: $1.15 million
  7. Fig Tree Pocket: $1.18 million
  8. Hamilton: $1.19 million
  9. Hawthorne: $1.2 million
  10. Hendra: $1.02 million
  11. Highgate Hill: $1.14 million
  12. Kalinga: $1 million
  13. New Farm: $1.4 million
  14. Paddington: $1 million
  15. St Lucia: $1.27 million
  16. West End: $1.13 million
  17. Wilston: $1.15 million

At the current rate of growth, around 32 per cent over the past year, and if market conditions remain static, Teneriffe will be our first $3 million suburb and this will happen in the next 12 months. This is not a sure thing, but it is a possibility.

Ipswich:  The Ipswich house market has demonstrated consistent growth over the past year, adding 3.1 per cent to the median, reaching $335,000. Ipswich is part of the southeast’s growth corridor, along with Logan, and is a very active market for first-home buyers.

Queensland has the highest proportion of first-home buyers, with these new property seekers making up about 20 per cent of the buying population, according to ABS lending data.

The unit market in Ipswich is more volatile. The market has grown 5.8 per cent over the past 12 months, to an annual median of $329,000, however suffered a quarterly loss of 20.3 per cent, reflecting slowing demand.

Logan: Logan’s growth has been smaller but no less consistent, delivering annual growth of 2.1 per cent to September. The median of $385,000 makes it more expensive than Ipswich but Logan remains one of the most affordable markets in the southeast corner and represents outstanding value. This market, similar to Ipswich, is attracting young first-home buyers who are drawn by good sized blocks and family friendly facilities.

Moreton Bay: In line with the rest of the southeast corner, Moreton Bay delivered consistent growth in the annual median house price, increasing 2.6 per cent to $430,000. This is the fastest-selling market of all the LGAs in Outer Brisbane (Ipswich, Logan, Moreton Bay, and the Redlands), with a median days on market of just 34 days.

Moreton Bay’s unit market fell 4.3 per cent over the year to September 2017, moving from $358,145 to $342,900. This was the largest median unit fall in Greater Brisbane. This is also the tightest rental market in Greater Brisbane (along with Ipswich), with a vacancy rate of 1.9 per cent. Rents have risen for three-bedroom houses and three-bedroom townhouses over the quarter.

Redland: This market has delivered solid growth for the year to September 2017, with 3.2 per cent growth taking the median house price to $516,000. It’s the most expensive market in Outer Brisbane (Ipswich, Logan, Moreton Bay, and Redland) and the market that has delivered the strongest growth over the past five years, with the annual median house price growing 17.8 per cent.  

The unit market has performed very well, growing 4.1 per cent over the past year, to a new median of $406,000. Over the past five years this market has grown 21 per cent, which is outstanding, especially when compared with Ipswich (16.5 per cent), Logan (-13.5 per cent) and Moreton Bay (3.3 per cent).

Gold Coast: One of the top-three-powerhouse markets driving Queensland growth, the Gold Coast house market has had another successful year growing 7.3 per cent over the past 12 months to a new median high of $606,000.

This is just $54,000 less than Brisbane’s median house price and represents these markets drawing ever closer in house price. During the 1980s the Gold Coast houses were more expensive than Brisbane houses, so time will tell if the Gold Coast growths continues to power ahead and eclipse Brisbane’s house prices.

Mermaid Beach is the Gold Coast’s strongest growth suburb for houses, adding 9.9 per cent to reach a median of $1.53 million.

The Gold Coast represents the largest unit market in Queensland. Defying trends throughout most of the rest of Queensland this market grew 4.4 per cent, to $420,000, which makes it one of the most expensive unit markets in the state.

Toowoomba: This market has defied the regional slump for the past couple of years with good steady growth but we are seeing signs that demand is starting to flatten out. The median house price fell 0.6 per cent this year, to $350,000, down from $352,000 a year ago. The market has grown 20.7 per cent over the past five years and this is outstanding growth for a regional market.

The unit market fell 1.6 per cent to $305,000 but has grown over the past five years by 22.5 per cent. The steady pipeline of infrastructure projects has kept this property market bubbling along but it’s likely that new workers to the area have all found accommodation and this will potentially result in a small dip in activity.

Sunshine Coast SD: The Sunshine Coast Statistical Division incorporates Noosa and the Sunshine Coast LGA. These two markets have powered ahead through the past 12 months. Sunshine Coast has grown 6.8 per cent to $550,000 and Noosa has grown a whopping 9.6 per cent to an annual median house price of $655,000.

These markets are clearly offering buyers exactly what they’re looking for and the REIQ’s prediction is that when the Bruce Highway is improved to the point where commuting to Brisbane becomes more reasonable we will see demand balloon.

The unit market has been reasonably positive, growing 3.7 per cent on the Sunshine Coast and just 0.4 per cent over the past 12 months for Noosa’s annual unit median price.

Fraser Coast: In many regards a hidden gem, the Fraser Coast has delivered some excellent growth suburbs in the September quarter QMM report. Burrum Heads delivered 17.2 per cent growth for house owners in this area, to a median of $406,750. River Heads houses grew 14.7 per cent to an annual median house price of $332,500 and Scarness houses added 9.3 per cent to $295,000.

It’s clearly a market where buyers know what they’re looking for and demand is strong.

The unit market has fallen 2 per cent over the past 12 months and is down 4.8 per cent over the past five years.

Bundaberg: This market is showing signs that recovery is on the horizon however, it’s slow to arrive. The annual median house price grew 2.9 per cent to $283,000, however, this market continues to tread water medium-term with just 1.1 per cent growth over the past five years. 

Gladstone: We are seeing increased sales volumes in this market, which means there are more buyers in the market and this is good news. However, the property market has yet to turn the corner toward recovery.

The annual median house price has fallen 13.7 per cent over the past year and 38.9 per cent over the past five years. The unit market is similarly challenged, with 12.5 per cent lost over the past year and 42.5 per cent down on five years ago.

Rockhampton: As far as regional markets go, Rockhampton is holding its own as the most affordable house market in the QMM report. Units continue to outperform houses and units are bucking the statewide trend and showing actual growth – 4.4 per cent – for the year September. Houses fell 2.9 per cent over the year. The unusual quirk in this market has extended for another quarter – units are more expensive than houses in this central Queensland beef town. The annual median unit price is $305,000 and the annual median house price is $267,000.

Mackay: A falling jobless rate has put a glimmer of hope on the horizon, however, the market recovery seems slow to arrive. Median house prices fell 3 per cent over the past 12 months, to $320,000, and median unit prices fell 11.7 per cent over the past year, to $212,000. Despite this gloomy data, local agents are optimistic and are reporting improving market conditions. The local government is working hard to diversify the economy and optimism around the Adani project is buoying local sentiment. The REIQ is fairly certain growth is coming, but is less certain about the timeline for that growth!

Townsville: In a very similar situation to Mackay, there is a sense of positivity in the Townsville community and a certainty that the market is improving. The data is not yet reflecting that positivity, but it is surely coming. The annual median house price fell 2.4 per cent to $330,000 and the annual median unit price fell 8.9 per cent to $255,000. We are seeing rental vacancies tightening in this market, with consecutive falls to land on 4.3 per cent in the September quarter. This is down from a high of 7.1 per cent in September last year. Sales markets usually follow rental market trends so it is likely that improving sales data is on its way.

Cairns: Continuing to defy the regional trends of sliding median house prices, Cairns has grown 3.7 per cent over the past year to a new high of $409,500. Being a predominantly tourism town, when the dollar is low and tourist numbers rise, this town enjoys a boost to the economy. Its tight vacancy rate of just 1.7 per cent is an indication that rental accommodation is in short supply and the market would benefit from additional supply coming online. The sales market is steady. Units haven’t been as strong, falling 3 per cent over the past 12 months to $230,000. This is a very affordable unit market offering strong indicative rental yields over 7 per cent.


Media enquiries:
Felicity Moore: 
T: 07 3249 7300
M: 0408 020 428


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