Nicola Trotman | 17 January 2013

Gold Coast auctioneers seek to climb out of five-year chasm

The Gold Coast summer auction seasons is kicking off this weekend. If sold, the properties will total tens of millions of dollars.  

Much of the activity is at the strip's northern end, but Hedges Avenue gets its look-in, too.

Of course most agents are anticipating, or more likely hoping, the Gold Coast property market could be in a state of recovery.

But the last five years has been typically tough for property, with many halving in value.

“Apart from Cairns, no market was affected more than here,” Ray White Surfers Paradise CEO Andrew Bell recently suggested.

While prices are still bouncing off the bottom, sales inquiry and activity has been climbing back.

Bell's numbers indicated a 32% rise in sales volume in November 2012 compared with November 2011.

“In our residential resale markets in just the fortnight since Christmas, we have recorded over 2,300 people through our open homes and inquiries,” says Bell.

“That is up over 41.5% on the corresponding period last year,” he told Fairfax Media.

Bell has sold 14 properties since Boxing Day, with a list of forthcoming auction dates coming up.

“There is no doubt in my mind anyone buying a property in 12 months' time will be paying more than they would at this point in time,” says Bell.

Ray White Surfers Paradise is preparing for its 20th annual summer auction, dubbed The Event – which is now spread over three days, January 27, 30 and 31.

As one of Australia’s largest auctions, The Event will bring more than 100 residential, prestige, industrial and commercial properties as well as land sites and even boats go to auction.

Included in the auctions will be a luxury architectally designed Hedges Avenue home of troubled Gold Coast developer Bruce Tilley.

The Gold Coast Bulletin says searches show the Bank of Queensland is owed $7.843 million on the beachfront house, which will be offered on January 31. Property Observer reported the listing in May last year. 

Tilley held the house through Hedges Avenue Pty Ltd, and receivers Andrew Fielding and David Whyte were appointed to take control of the company in October last year.

The house was built two years ago after Tilley paid $1.4 million for the 405-square-metre landholding in 2000.

The replacement cost of the property, which has just two bedrooms and a study, has been estimated to be as high as $10 million.

“In two decades The Event has grown to unrivalled heights and is now seen as a litmus test for the regional and national markets for the year ahead,” says Bell.

“The Event acts to spur the market into action, as a result we often see substantial sales activity in the weeks following the auctions.”

Bell says there has been a huge boost in sales to the international market this year, particularly Asian buyers.

He added that growing activity in the prestige sector and the record sale of a $12 million Sanctuary Cove mansion is helping drive buyer confidence.

““It gives the rest of us confidence when Australia’s highest wealth citizens back their intuition that now is the time to get into the market, and as a result we’ve seen steady activity across the residential market following the string of high-priced sales,” says Bell.

The selling season kicks off on January 20 with Lucy Cole Prestige Properties.

Following are Professionals Broadbeach, Ray White Broadbeach and Professionals Paradise Point, with auctions on January 24.

The Event by Ray White kicks off on January 27 as well as another auction by Southern Ray White offices.

Ray White Runway Bay Group and Harcourts Gold Coast Central will have hammers in their hands on January 29 and Ray White Robina/Varsity on January 30.

Three auctions will take place on January 31 by Ray White Surfers Paradise Group Prestige, Professionals Surfers Paradise and LJ Hooker Labrador.

Harcourts Broadbeach-Mermaid Waters and PRDnationwide Surfer Paradise will both have auctions on February 2.

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