A changing tide in the design of residential dwellings is on the horizon as developers, seeing an increase in demand from the owner-occupier and growing downsizer space, respond with development applications for larger home-style apartments on the Gold Coast.
Real estate firm Colliers International says the coastal strip between Surfers Paradise and Mermaid Beach is a key area set to swell due to the new wave of apartments catering for permanent residents.
"It's all about addressing the pent up demand in the marketplace for apartments that provide the features of a private home and benefits of the apartment lifestyle – low maintenance living with space and storage," Colliers International residential director Andrew Roubicek said.
Latest Census figures show Mermaid Beach as the most popular beachside locale with 43.5 per cent of dwellings now owned outright or mortgaged, followed by Broadbeach with 40.7 per cent ownership and Surfers Paradise with 39.9 per cent.
"There has been a scarcity of apartments designed with owner occupiers in mind in recent years, simply because the market was more geared towards investors but that is now starting to change," Roubicek said.
"We are starting to see more sophisticated projects on the drawing board, like the proposed Pindan development overlooking Hedges Avenue, where the developer has identified a shortfall in the market for larger, upmarket two and three bedroom apartments."
Pindan is a Perth based property group preparing to launch its first Queensland project on the Gold Coast in the coming months.
An array of luxury projects are under way in the area such as developer Forise Holdings $1.2 billion “Spirit” tower, set to become Queensland’s tallest residential tower and Yuhu Group’s $1.1 billion beachfront “Jewel” towers.
Melbourne-based developer Little Projects has a $210 million Broadbeach apartment tower due to roll out in late 2020, and real estate director John Kubatov recently lodged a proposal for a 54-storey Broadbeach tower with council in May.
Boulder Capital's Damian Winterburn recently told The Urban Developer the Gold Coast market offered strong fundamentals attracting capital to back new residential development.
Vacancy rates sit around 1.1 per cent, in comparison to Sydney and Melbourne at over 2 per cent, with the Gold Coast also set to receive major infrastructure and capital spending post Commonwealth Games to the tune of $12 billion.
“Several of the traditional lenders have been hesitant to finance projects on the Gold Coast recently, which has helped limit the supply side as evidenced by the tight vacancy rate and we are now witnessing strong migration to the region converting to sales results," Winterburn said.
While the Gold Coast is still appealing to interstate buyers looking to leverage relative affordability of beachside property to southern counterparts, Roubicek anticipates many new owner-occupiers in the central coast precinct would be locals moving from surrounding suburbs.
"Local buyers trend towards residential 'pockets' which have easy access to amenities, yet offer a quieter lifestyle. Interstate buyers choose these same areas because they want security and a sense of community as they get to know the area,” Roubicek said.
"Mermaid Beach really strikes the balance in terms of its mix of housing types and it's an area I expect to experience higher levels of owner occupancy over the coming years, given its location between the Broadbeach entertainment hub and foodie hotspot Nobby Beach."