Larry Schlesinger | 21 February 2013

Gold Coast new apartment sales rise 14% in December quarter as project numbers decline

Gold Coast new apartment sales rise 14% in December quarter as project numbers decline

There was a 14% rise in new apartment sales on the Gold Coast over the December quarter led by 31 unconditional sales recorded at the Sirocco apartment project being developed by the Emandar Group.

Colliers Internatial records 160 sales across 37 projects over the December quarter of last year compared with 140 sales across 40 projects in the previous quarter.

Despite the improvement sales remain at historically low levels - the long-term average for apartment sales on the Gold Coast is around 300 unconditional sales per quarter.

The December quarter result continued a trend of rising sales and declining projects being marketed off-the-plan with Mistral at Harbour Quays, Kirra Wave at Bilinga and Surf 120 at Broadbeach all selling out over the quarter. 

Sirocco at Harbour Quays was the only new project launched over the quarter. 

Sirocco is being developed at Harbour Quays near Biggera Waters, about 15 minutes north of Surfers Paradise. 

The project features 40 apartments, half of which are two-bedroom apartments as well as one and three-bedroom apartments and four-bedroom villas. 

Project numbers on the Gold Coast have declined for eight consecutive quarters from just over 60 in December 2010 to just 37 in the December 2012 quarter. 

The current number of projects is the lowest number of projects being marketed at buyers in 12 years. 

There are around 1,000 apartments available for sale at the moment, which represents a 20 month supply pipeline at the current sales rate, and the lowest since figures were first recorded 30 years ago. 

However, given that sales numbers are trending up and only two new projects expected to be added over the first quarter of 2013, the supply pipeline should begin to shorten. 

The two new projects coming on board are – the third stage of Harbour Quays in Biggera Waters and Synergy at Broadbeach.

Gold Coast apartment market – sales over 2012

QUARTER - 2012















Tony Holland, Colliers International Residential Director of Project Marketing says buyers of new apartments on the Gold Coast or Tweed Coast have much more limited options than they have in the past.” 

Holland says there is more confidence in the Gold Coast as a whole now and this year had started off exceptionally well.

“We can report anecdotally that both enquiry and more importantly sales have been strong this year, not only in the apartment market, but also in the land sales market,” he said.

“It’s still at low levels but we think that is ­probably being held back because of the lack of choice in the market," Holland told the Australian Financial Review.

According to Holland , buyers are perceiving that the new price levels represent good value.

A regional report released by RP Data this week reported that Gold Coast unit values are still down 19.5% from their peak with the only the fast north Queensland coast a worst performing market, with unit prices down 22% from its peak.

The only one major off-the-plan project launched over the December quarter was Amalgamated Property Group’s Synergy at Broadbeach with 130 apartments.

The Melbourne-based Pellicano Group also recently gained master planning approval for a 1650-dwelling proposal at the Zagame family’s Paradise Resort on the Gold Coast.

According to Lynda Campbell, Colliers International research manager, the best performing precinct across the Gold and Tweed Coasts in the new apartment market for the December quarter was the North Shore, which had 84 sales across nine projects. 

The Colliers International figures contrast starkly with November quarter figures reported by the Midwood Report, which recorded just 19 unconditional high-rise apartment sales over the November quarter, a 70% plunge from sales figure a year ago.

There are currently 247 apartments in the medium-rise sector available for sale and 758 in the high-rise sector, according to Colliers International.

Niecon's two-tower Oracle project on Broadbeach, currently in receivership, managed over 100 sales in 2012.

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