Against a backdrop of reduced sales volumes, the December quarter provided strong evidence to support the notion that prices are stabilising post previous retracement from pandemic highs. Prices have tracked sideways for multiple quarters, with some sub-markets experiencing upticks. Promising inflation data and subsequent confidence that we are likely at the top of the interest cycle appeared to ‘calm the farm’, particularly in media circles.
Demand from interstate and overseas buyers remained robust – we witnessed a consistent flow of young families making the tree/sea-change, pre-retirees taking action in fear that the door will be closed come retirement, and actual retirees consisting a mix of those seeking ‘lock up and leave’ propositions for use during the winter months, and those after more permanent bases. And contrary to many other regional markets, few who relocated here in recent years appear to be leaving, committed to their new hometown and transitioning from ‘renters’ to ‘buyers’.
Buyer depth held strong for quality turnkey properties in good locations, as competitive multi-party bidding/offers yielded record prices. There was limited competition for properties in B grade locations and/or requiring significant work, enabling prospective buyers to take their time in assessing options. Though when priced and marketed correctly, these offerings continued to transact swiftly and successfully.
Most listings took over 90 days to sell, a sizable portion in the 90-180 day range, which is normal for Noosa in an historical context (though abnormal for those with shorter memories). It’s now well over a year since prices peaked and commenced softening. Yet still, there were widespread examples of vendors ignoring market realities. Particularly those who bought during the peak and appeared anchored to recovering their purchase price plus stamps, as well as those who have since performed A-grade renovations in B-grade locations. In both cases, and irrespective of how many new agents’ took over the listing, an unbridgeable gap between buyers and sellers held firm until there was a price adjustment. In the absence of price adjustments, these properties sat on market for extended periods and competed with new listings.
- Noosa Heads
- Sunshine Beach
The Noosaville housing market up ticked 3% over the quarter, with the median house price rising to $1.66m (12 months to 31 December). Sales volumes were steady despite lower listing numbers compared to the same period last year. Previous price falls from peak levels were less pronounced in Noosaville than neighbouring housing markets and median prices sat 11.6% lower than May 2022 peak levels ($1.8775m).
The unit market flattened throughout the quarter, with a median price of $945k (12 months to 31 December). Prices in this market proved exceptionally resilient as compared to other markets, tracking sideways since March 2023 after peaking in February 2023 at $975k (just 3% above today’s levels). This buoyancy was particularly supported by the high demand for quality turnkey townhouses close to amenities.
Casey Languillon of Harcourts Noosa shared, “We experienced a significant increase in buyer enquires over the quarter and expect this to continue. There was evidence of quality properties in sought after locations selling for prices significantly over what they were bought for 18 months ago. If you have been waiting to buy, my advice is to avoid delay given momentum is building”.
Standout sales in Noosaville included a ground level, north facing, 2 bedroom waterfront apartment at 19/24 Munna Crescent. Located within the Noosa Pacific complex with wide views over the Noosa River, and renovated in 2021, the property sold for $3.35m. A large 5 bedroom 4 bathroom family home at 11 Seacove Court sold for $2.9m, representing an 84% gain since it last sold in early 2019. A north-east facing 4 bedroom waterfront home on land size of 1032m2 at 21 Mermaid Quay fetched $5.9m. This property last sold in mid 2016 for $2.08m, showing a 184% appreciation in just over 7 years. Wyuna Drive was a hive of activity over the quarter, the tightly held and much sought after locale witness to a number of on and off-market transactions (upwards of circa $11m at the top end).
The Noosa Heads housing market showed further signs of stabilisation, with median house prices remaining flat at $1.75m for the second consecutive quarter. According to the headline data, prices rested 24.6% down from peak levels of September 2022 ($2.18m). Whilst the market is some way off previous highs, the transaction mix of sales changed, with less ‘trophy homes’ and more ‘investor’ stock. The like for like pricing differential was not as pronounced as the headline numbers suggested.
Again, in a signal of stabilisation, the unit market tracked sideways over the quarter, with a median price of $1.59m (12 months to 31 December). This followed a circa 15% fall between May and September, with the market for 2 bedroom apartments faring better than their 3 bedrooms counterparts.
Commenting on the market, Jessie Stowers from Tom Offermann Real Estate shared, “Noosa Heads continued to see strong support for property values, underpinned by a tightly held and limited availability of property matched with consistent turnover driven by a national buyer pool and ever-increasing new interest in securing property here.”
A highlight sale in Noosa Heads this quarter was at 6/8 Quamby Place within the tightly held and prestigious Las Rias complex. The ground floor 3 bedroom 2 bath apartment with panoramic front row views over Noosa River fetched $4.65m in a hotly contested auction, setting a new building record per m2 in the process. Last sold in July 2021 for $1.315m, a newly renovated home at 3 Yallara Court sold for $3.2m. An architectural 4 bedroom 3 bath townhouse with pool and rooftop terrace at 2/11 Angler Street, one of the most desirable streets on Noosa Hill, sold at auction for $2.75m.
After a period of initially heavy downward pressure on pricing since late 2022 eased in intensity from early 2023, the median house price in Sunshine Beach plateaued at $2.34m for the second consecutive quarter. Headline data, leveraged by mainstream media and relied upon solely by so many, suggested the market rounded out at 33.6% off peak 2022 levels. Such figures ignore critical intricacies which must be understood to inform sound decision making. As we’ve said before, Sunshine Beach is tightly held with low recorded sales volumes. Prices vary significantly from street to street. Even median prices, as opposed to average, tend to be materially impacted by a relatively small volume of outlier sales and subtle shifts in the type of properties being sold. There’s no doubt the data set for the quarter was underweight in trophy homes and overweight in lower price point investor stock when compared to the heady days of the COVID pandemic.
In the year to 31 December 2023 there were just 32 recorded house sales, less than half the p.a. volume experienced during the ‘COVID years’, and relatively modest even by pre-COVID levels. This against a backdrop where listing numbers did not drop by nearly the same quantum. Sellers in Sunshine Beach required a good reason to sell and were reticent to discount unless absolutely necessary, which very few did. It will be interesting to monitor activity here with signs of market stabilisation.
The unit market remained flat for the 3rd consecutive quarter, with a median price of $1.5m (12 months to December 2023). This market proved more resilient than its housing counterpart, with median prices levelling at 6.5% from their $1.605m peak in mid/late 2022.
The highlight sale of the quarter at 33 Ross Crescent set a Queensland record for the year. The 3520m2 foreshore estate garnered the prestige price tag of $28m. Another highlight was 26 McAnally Drive, the award winning ‘Azure’ home designed by Chris Clout. This luxurious 5 bed 4 bath house with sweeping 180-degree ocean views sold for $13.5m. Residential land at 65-67 Elanda Street, with DA approval for 4 luxury townhouses leveraging ocean views, sold for $6.1m. The townhouses are now for sale starting from mid-$5m’s. Within the landmark ‘Costa Nova’ building, 15/1 Belmore Terrace sold for $2.275m. A renovated 2 bed 2 bath apartment with ocean views, ideally located close to the beach and village.
The RBA’s steps to curb inflation are working, albeit with collateral damage, with rate reductions now tipped for late 2024. With clear evidence of price stabilisation and green shoots of price growth in some markets, confidence levels are improving.
In the immediate term, there appears a low probability of significant market movement on either the up or downside. All signs point to a ‘steady as she goes’ scenario, and perhaps modest price increases. There are of course risks, key at present being escalating geopolitical tensions and softer than expected economic growth, with easing migration and interest rates remaining relatively high, at least in the context of the last few years.
Whilst ‘time in the market’ yields greater success than attempting to ‘time the market’, for buyers who have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for their moment, it is increasingly becoming a question of ‘if not now, when?’
Irrespective of what happens in the near term, the long-term fundamentals underpinning the Sunshine Coast property market are overwhelmingly positive. Constrained supply of new land, relative affordability vs. capital cities, work from home flexibility, a tight rental market, increased government and private infrastructure spend in the lead up to the Olympics, and, of course, the unmatched lifestyle. As a buyer, when you find the right house in the right location, our loud and clear advice is to take action. Regardless of what happens with pricing in the short term, given the scarcity of the market, if you wait it will likely be a considerable period of time before you find something similar.
Get in touch with Kate & Edward to find out more about the Sunshine Coast property market, or make an appointment to discuss your requirements and see how we can help you get into your ideal home sooner.Read more about Kate & Edward Polk
Boroondara – Summer 2024 Market UpdateRead Article
Mornington Peninsula – Spring 2023 Property UpdateRead Article
Sydney Eastern Suburbs – Spring 2023 UpdateRead Article
Melbourne Inner North – Spring 2023 UpdateRead Article
Sydney Inner West – Spring 2023 Property UpdateRead Article
Noosa – Winter 2023 Property UpdateRead Article
The first step in your property journey, whether it be buying or selling, is gaining clarity on your situation.