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Population Matters

By Dan Sowden

Even those with a mild interest in the property market will have noticed there is an overwhelming amount of media articles doing the rounds, commentating on the growth of the Sunshine Coast Property Market. With everyone sharing their opinion, I have to admit I was struggling to find something of substance that would explain what was really going on and not getting caught up in the ‘White Noise’ of the last few months sales activity and median price growth. In my personal opinion, both the latter offer very little insight into the future of our market.

Then I read an email from Michael Matsuik, which focused on job creation in South East Queensland, and how the Sunshine Coast compared to our larger neighbors.

Jobs! Yes it really is as simple as that. Behind the hype of statistics and emerging trends media commentators often forget the simple reality that people buy houses; so when there are more people in a position to move to the area, prices inevitably rise. More often than not, they make the choice to move to our area because of the work opportunities they are offered.

It’s a simple metric to understand, many Australians would love to move to the Sunshine Coast but they won’t if there are no job prospects. I distinctly remember many that moved away from the Coast between 2008-2012 because they could no longer find a job. Less people able to live here meant that price growth stalled, and in some over supplied areas it even fell.

When you consider the tables below, the Sunshine Coast job market has grown over 10% in the last 5 years, easily one of the strongest areas within South East Queensland. We are in the middle of an infrastructure boom that is bringing with it new business opportunities for the Sunshine Coast.

In my opinion, jobs growth will tell you the real story of the coast property market.

Job growth across South East Qld:

Location20112016Change last 5 yrs
Sunshine Coast111,151122,12510,97410%

Population Growth over the last 30 years
Over the last five years, the Australian population increase has been closer to 400,000 each year.  That’s the size of Canberra!

Urban areaNumber% increase
Sunshine Coast190,019273%
Gold Coast410,113251%
Cairns109,105199%
Perth970,812108%
Brisbane1,027,98499%
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