Property owners and investors on Palm Beach on the Gold Coast are struggling to come to terms with the extent to which property prices have declined in the region since the GFC, according to a new report by PRDnationwide.
“Whilst many vendors acknowledge diminished capital values especially over recent years, and have priced their property accordingly, a large proportion of vendors remain under the illusion that their properties are undoubtedly worth more now than three to five years ago," says PRDnationwide analyst Robert Matta, author of the report.
“Whilst this may be the case for few properties in the area, this is definitely an extraordinary circumstance which has contributed to a lack of reasonable priced property on the market,” he says.
He also notes that buyers who purchased since 2007 are restricted by how much they can revise their pricing due to possible equity shortfalls.
“There is also evidence to suggest that unencumbered vendors have become increasingly reluctant to negotiate on the fire sale cash offers floating around in the market, which is exacerbating the level of well-priced stock in the market,” he says.
PRDnationwide’s investigation of the coastal area of Palm Beach, which includes the suburbs of Palm Beach, Elanora, Currumbin, Currumbin Waters and Tugun south of Surfers Paradise, reveals a marked downwards shift in property values.
In June 2010 nearly two-thirds (65%) of properties that traded in the Palm Beach area sold for between $500,000 and $700,000, with the remainder trading between $400,000 and $500,000.
Figures for June 2012 show that only 45% of sales were in the $500,000 and $700,000, with the majority priced under $500,000
PRDnationwide recorded a small increase in residential sales in the Palm Beach area in the first half of 2012 with 220 sales negotiated, but says the market remained idle, “despite a marked correction in the median price over the past five years”.
For Palm Beach investors, the rental market has remained stagnant over the past three years, “with little to no movement in price growth across the house and unit markets”.
“Buying well is the key for investors to achieve a competitive rental yield in the marketplace with low rental price growth anticipated over the coming year,” says Matta.
According to Matta, active investors and owner-occupiers have become increasingly price-conscious, with the sub $350,000 price range accounting for 65% of the total sales recorded in the June 2012 period, in contrast to 35% recorded in the June 2010 period.
The unit market has been more resilient than the wider Gold Coast municipality, with a median unit price for June 2012 of $355,000.
Palm Beach rents range from $300 per week for a two-bedroom apartment to $490 per week for a four-bedroom house.
Elanora recorded the highest number of sales for the six month to the end of June with 67, up 20% one more than Palm Beach, a 20% fall on the same period in 2011.