Exploring the Holiday Beach Destinations with Median House Prices Surging Past $1m

It’s no secret that a variety of regions within the Australian property market have been surging in recent history, led largely by factors stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, but few have seen such enviable growth as the detached houses in Queensland’s Gold Coast & Sunshine Coast, as well as Richmond-Tweed region in NSW’s north. According to Ray White chief economist Nerida Conisbee in a recent article from the Australian Financial Review, prices in these areas have risen, ‘by between 35 per cent and 47 per cent’, with the median price set to surpass the $1 million mark by March 2022. 

What is Causing this Surge in Property Prices?

Ms Conisbee believes one of the key drivers is the mass interstate migration we have seen from former residents of Melbourne & Sydney fleeing to Queensland to avoid further lockdowns and restrictions. Furthermore, the pandemic has shown businesses across the country the potential to work from home. Wealthy property owners who once simply held holiday homes in these scenic destinations have since ditched their commute into the city and made the permanent relocation to enjoy their surroundings. 

How Do These Regions Compare with Other Major Cities on the East Coast?

At the end of November 2021, CoreLogic listed the median detached home prices for these areas as:

  • Gold Coast – $939,000
  • Richmond-Tweed Region (including Byron Bay) – $956,000
  • Sunshine Coast – $968,000

There was an observed average price growth of 2 per cent per month, which Ms Conisbee expects will largely continue to push these median prices in each of the three regions past $1 million by March. 

For comparative purposes, some of the median house prices in other major cities have still seen significant growth, with many others climbing above that seven-figure threshold. These include:

  • Sydney – $1.38 million
  • Canberra – $1.07 million
  • Melbourne – $980,000 

With these new cultural and economic shifts, the coastal lifestyle markets are seen as not only the more desirable destination to lay down roots, but also still reasonably affordable compared to the major cities above. ‘Seller sentiment seems to be a little bit off in Sydney and Melbourne, but when we have a look at south-east Queensland, we see very elevated levels of listings,’ said Conisbee. ‘That suggests sellers are still very confident there are lots of buyers. At the end of last year[,] we were seeing very high clearance rates and very high numbers of active bidders in the south-east Queensland market.’