13 November 2014, Written by Nick Nichols

THE Gold Coast beachfront is poised to take a backseat as a property development hotspot early next year as the coastal fringe from Arundel to Varsity Lakes emerges as the preferred target for new apartment projects.

The latest Urbis Gold Coast Apartment Insights report has found the coastal fringe accounts for 1094 apartments either approved or awaiting approval, while the Coast’s traditional apartment markets of Southport Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise account for 1054 units.

Urbis says the urban fringe activity is focused on Benowa and Ashmore, including developments in train by Rayjon, The Howard Group, Urban Construct, Shino Group and Minamarc.

The surge in activity west of the beachfront has been triggered by improved market conditions for the apartment market, says Urbis Research analyst Lynda Campbell.

She says many of the projects being brought to the market are taking shape on sites that have been lying idle in developer landbanks for years.

"Most of the Gold Coast's broadhectare land supply sits at the northern end of the city and within the coastal fringe - everything else along the coastline is essentially infill development," Campbell says.

"While areas like Southport, Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise have always been the capitals for apartment development, these areas simply don't have hectares of land available for new projects, which restricts the type of property that can be delivered.

"Because the development sites within the coastal fringe are so much larger, it's likely that we will see developers delivering bigger apartments along with recreational space and amenities within the one neighbourhood, similar to what you would typically find in the newer suburbs of Brisbane.

"These new apartment projects will bring a whole new type of property to the Gold Coast market."

The biggest lure for these developments is the lower price points with Urbis finding a weighted average price of $507,143 for coastal fringe apartments. This compares with the Gold Coast average apartment price of $812,045.

Buyer activity is starting to pick up, although some sectors such as the north shore and central precinct showing a fall of 58 sales and 18 sales respectively over the June quarter.

“Northern precinct sales were down because all of the receiver stock in that area has been absorbed,” says Campbell.

“The central precinct is slightly down because most of the projects selling in that area are well established and there's not much new stock.”

Based on the June quarter sales, the north shore, which included Hope Island, has about 15 months’ supply of apartment stock left.

The central market, which takes in Southport to Broadbeach, has about 18 months’ supply, while the coastal fringe had less than three months’ supply.

Author: Nick Nichols





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