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How much is light rail impacting Gold Coast real estate values?

By Andrew Bell

The Gold Coast is blossoming. Between the upcoming Commonwealth Games, new cruise terminal plans and bustling CBD precincts, we're growing at a phenomenal rate. At the heart of all of this change is one of, we think, the best pieces of infrastructure in the region: Gold Coast light rail.

Linking the breadth of the Gold Coast under one public transport network, the system can improve accessibility, business activity and quality of life in a way that other forms of public transport can't. However. light rail is having one impact in particular that local property owners will be interested in – it's changing property values.

Studies showing the dividends for Gold Coast real estate

They say you can't put a dollar value on the overall benefits of something like light rail, but Gold Coast property owners will beg to differ. A University of Queensland study from 2016 reviewed the impact of this infrastructure on real estate values near the rail lines, finding that overall gains in land values toppled the $300million mark.

The study analysed 1,324 sites within 400 metres of light rail stations, and a further 13,935 properties that sat within a two kilometre boundary. It factored in 202 different variables, including proximity to the coast, zoning controls and the type of property. It found that since 2014, the value of property within 400 metres of light rail stations significantly eclipsed that of real estate between 400m and 2km away. 

Overall, the average value increases for real estate within 400m of a light rail station was determined to be 7.1 per cent, which remains consistent with other research.

It's important to note that this research is making do with the best data available, and will not be a concrete confirmation the light rail absolutely increases property values by 7 per cent or more, However, it does indicate that proximity to light rail stations can increase values beyond regional or citywide medians – useful for any budding Gold Coast property investor.

What does this mean for your Gold Coast property?

One of the arguments posited by report author Cameron K. Murray was that title holders in these areas with strong value gains could pay more land tax to reflect the benefits of government-funded infrastructure on their personal wealth, but this has not been ratified by any local government authority.

For people looking to expand their property portfolio on the Gold Coast, this research suggests that identifying suburbs near further light rail expansions could become a top priority. For example, stage two of the Gold Coast light rail is currently underway, to be completed before the opening of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

It expands the existing network from the Gold Coast University Hospital through Parkwood and Parkwood East, before following the Pacific Highway as far north as Helensvale. This could position suburbs like Pacific Pines, Oxenford, Molendinar and Arundel as potential targets. While there is no guarantee of improved capital gains, greater accessibility through light rail appears to be having positive impacts on real estate in a multitude of ways.

How to break into future growth markets

Identifying potential growth areas is often the easy part of breaking into the Gold Coast real estate market. With so much activity occurring, demand is constantly stirring, and you may find it difficult to compete against equally committed buyers.

By working with the team at Ray White Surfers Paradise, you tap into decades of professionalism and experience that can make all the difference to your planning. Speak to one of our team today about your next investment. 

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