28 October 2019 | Author: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder | Source: Property Observer
I believe real estate markets are driven more by local factors than national ones. While many commentators are placing great significance on interest rate reductions as a prime driver of real estate markets, I’m much more interested in what’s going on the coalface of local economies.
And, in those terms, I put a high rating on the Sunshine Coast as a market that investors of all kinds should be considering. I regard the Sunshine Coast as the strongest market in Queensland at the moment and indeed one of the strongest in Australia.
I see events happening there as an economic revolution, which is shifting the Sunshine Coast from tourist destination to international city – a massive transition that’s happened in the past 2-3 years and continues to happen.
I recently completed a comprehensive 30-page report called The Sunshine Coast: Australia’s Most Compelling Growth Story, in which I note that the Sunshine Coast economy was no longer predominantly reliant on tourism because of the creation in recent years of strong health, education and technology industries – all part of an infrastructure program totalling more than $20 billion.
Economies reliant on tourism traditionally fail to deliver sustainable real estate growth. But the Sunshine Coast has diversified and strengthened and is now, I think, the nation’s most compelling growth story.
It has a $17.7 billion economy, making it one of the largest regional economies in Australia, and on infrastructure it’s outspending several of the nation’s capital cities.
The health, education and technology sectors – including the new $5 billion health precinct - are bringing new residents to the Sunshine Coast and this is providing strong impetus to the real estate market, notably at the Top End. The median house price for Noosa Heads has increased 40% in the past three years, while the median apartment price has jumped 25% in the past year.
In terms of becoming an international city, the Sunshine Coast will soon have an international airport and an international broadband network connection to Asia. Earlier this year the Sunshine Coast was named in the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2019 by the global Intelligent Community Forum, alongside major international cities like Chicago.
Central to everything that’s happening in the region is the creation of a Sunshine Coast CBD from the ground up – a $5 billion enterprise which is now under way on a 53ha greenfield site in central Maroochydore.
The new city centre has attracted investment from local, national and international firms interested having an early presence in the growing region.
The Sunshine Coast is among the top 10 leading regions in the country for employment generation, adding more than 20,000 jobs over the past five years. The $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) has created 5,000 jobs since opening in April 2017 and the new Maroochydore City Centre is forecast to provide 15,000 jobs over the lifespan of the 20-year project and inject $4.4 billion into the economy.
In addition, the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network will deliver 800 new jobs once it’s operational next year and will deliver the fastest data connection to Asia from the east coast of Australia.
Part of the economic revolution of the Sunshine Coast in recent years has stemmed from the region’s growing reputation as an innovation and technology hub.
Demographer Bernard Salt has described the Sunshine Coast as “the entrepreneurship capital of Australia “because of the large number of knowledge-based start-ups and small businesses such as information technology, clean-tech, creative industries, aviation and education.
The population of the Sunshine Coast is forecast to reach 580,000 by 2041, an increase on the previous forecast of 558,000.
The Sunshine Coast is one of Australia’s fastest-developing economies, growing each year at rates well above national averages and is expected to expand to $33 billion by 2033.
As a consequence, our new Spring edition of The Price Predictor Index has found that the Sunshine Coast has more locations with rising sales activity than any other municipality in Australia. And that kind of outcome is likely to create sustainable long-term price growth.
Terry Ryder is the founder of hotspotting.com.au