After a challenging year for property on the Sunshine Coast cost in 2011, agent forecasts for 2012 indicate there are better times ahead. Whilst improvements are not expected overnight, a slow but steady return to better market conditions is expected over the course of the year. This week we interviewed 2 key industry experts from the Sunshine Coast – Nigel Lucas, Principal of Mooloolaba Real Estate and Bevan Horsnell, Principal of Belle Property Buderim to get their views on what lies ahead.
Broadly speaking, what are your expectations for Real Estate in the Sunshine Coast for 2012?
Nigel Lucas (Mooloolaba Real Estate): Now that the state election is out of the way we should see the decline in property prices stop on the Sunshine Coast and a flat to growing market for the remainder of the year. Buyer enquiry should remain strong.
Bevan Horsnell (Principal of Belle Property Buderim): While the Coast has seen some residential heartache over the past 12 months from a property perspective, the sky hasn’t fallen and wouldn’t appear likely to in 2012. It merely reinforces the fact that property, like any market, works in cycles, and last year it was the buyers’ turn to flex their muscle and exert some pressure. If we are not already at the bottom of the market, it would appear within reach and 2012 will likely see a return to relative stability in median prices and an increase in volume.
What trends do you predict will come forth or continue in 2012 (e.g. property bubble, return of investors, etc)
Nigel Lucas: In Mooloolaba we are not expecting a quick return of investors (mostly end occupiers). Investors should return in the next 12 to 18 months as the new local Hospital is built, local jobs created and a migration of people back to the Sunshine Coast.
Bevan Horsnell: First-home buyers love the interest rate cuts and are finally entering the market after what feels like a long layoff. Household income is recently quoted as outstripping inflation, and with household savings at their highest levels since the mid ’80s, there are definitely some who see it as a great time to invest. A prosperous resources sector should take a bow, particularly for our Queensland markets.
What are the opportunities for buyers to keep an eye out for in 2012?
Nigel Lucas: Definitely keep an eye on foreclosure sales and houses below $500,000. 80% of our current sales are this type of transaction.
Bevan Horsnell: Buyers would be well advised to keep an eye on the upper end of the market as prices have suffered greatly in this bracket over the past couple of years. As a result of the GFC and high leverage that these properties sometimes require, properties at the upper end are currently very good value in my opinion.
More specifically, what are the key suburbs you predict growth for in 2012?
Nigel Lucas: Definitely Mooloolaba – it is a key brand on the Sunshine Coast – one that is well known to most Australians.
Bevan Horsnell: I would see deep water access areas such as Mooloolaba, Minyama and Buddina “stopping the rot” and regaining some momentum on the back of renewed confidence in the market.