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Opinion: Time In The Market Beats Timing The Market

By Dan Sowden

“Sunshine Coast property market outstrips Brisbane and the Gold Coast for house price growth” –

“Why Sunshine Coast property will keep surging” – Sunshine Coast News

“Sunshine Coast’s property market looks towards a bright horizon” – The Market Herald

These are the types of headlines that we keep seeing in the news. As Sunshine Coast real estate agents, they not only excite the Ray White Maroochydore team, but our sellers too. For the buyers however, headlines like this often create confusion over rising rates and fears surrounding ‘timing the market’ begin to set in. The hope that ‘what goes up must come down’ is quickly turned into a pipe dream, and experts forecast market rates to only continue to rise.

The Sunshine Coast property market has experienced a 12.9% rise in the last 12 years, with a staggering 23.1% rise over the last year. With the median house price rising to an average of $700,000 the area is now outstripping Greater Brisbane and the Gold Coast, raising concerns surrounding affordability and just how high prices will go. For locals trying to get into the market, they believe that the area is becoming over inflated and that properties “simply can’t be worth what they are selling for”. Due to this rise, some buyers are hoping that if they wait, that the market will one day drop. Unfortunately this flawed theory is one that I have seen cost buyers tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout my 16 years in property.

So why are Sunshine Coast property prices surging? Well, the reality here is that interstate buyers from locations like Sydney and Melbourne are seeing our market as outstanding value. Sunshine Coast locals might have a hard time seeing a beachfront block of land selling for over $1,000,000, but if you come from Sydney, you might also see a 50m2 apartment with no car park sell for the same price. A property’s true value is in the eye of the buyer, and those coming from down south see plenty of value in our property market.

Ray White Chief Economist Nerida Conisbee in fact has shared that almost 13,000 people made the move from Victoria to Queensland in 2020, and this number is only expected to rise. She explains, “When there are less properties available for sale, the sellers have a significant edge… It (the lack of homes) has been driven by very high levels of demand for property… They are getting snapped up very quickly and prices are getting pushed up very quickly.”

With our local market growing at such a rapid pace, for buyers sitting on the sidelines patiently waiting, the truth is that they simply can’t save their way forward to a better position. The majority of our suburbs are seeing median price growth of circa 20% and based on the average sale prices this means that most owners who buy in 2021, will by the end of 2022 see approximately $60,000 – $80,000 in gained equity. The good news is that if you are buying a home, you are buying for the long term. Even if you feel as though you are paying upwards today, consider where our market may be sitting in 2041!

Let’s take a look at how the market has risen so far…

Median Sale Prices
Suburb20012021$ Change
Sunshine Beach$317,500$2,042,500$1,725,000
Noosa Heads$247,500$1,412,000$1,164,500
Alexandra Headland$225,500$1,210,000$984,500
Sunrise Beach$215,000$1,188,000$973,000
Moffat Beach$173,000$995,000$822,000

*Source: CoreLogic, Ray White Maroochydore 2021

It’s important to look at where we’ve come from to see where we’re going. With such steady growth over the past 20 years, it’s a testament to the growing value of the Sunshine Coast – even throughout a Global Financial Crisis! From 2001 to 2021 there was a lot of speculation surrounding  an imminent collapse of the market. In particular between 2008-2010 a collapse of over 30% was feared due to the GFC. Those who panicked, sold their properties and lost out on some valuable home equity. Those however who rode it out and held onto their properties, would have been rewarded as the market quickly regathered momentum post GFC. Despite the ups and downs, swings and roundabouts, the fact remains that those who continue to hold their investment and “take the long view” will inevitably come out in front. 

Similar to the predictions of the GFC, the commencement of COVID-19 in Australia led many property experts to suggest a financial collapse. The result however was the complete opposite. The effects on lifestyle during COVID-19, and particularly on those in cities with lockdowns, resulted in a fast tracked interstate migration. Currently, interstate buyers make up as much as 40% of Sunshine Coast property buyers, whereas prior to COVID-19 it was less than 10%. Those planning a future move brought forward their timelines, while others inspired by a more lifestyle rich home town began to explore remote working and a move to the Sunshine Coast. 

Unsure of where you find yourself in this fast moving market? Reach out and have a chat with one of our property experts at Ray White Maroochydore

Written in collaboration with Lauren Smith – Smith Madden Creative Agency

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