Issue 19 | Thursday August 13th 2020 | Breaking of the Cycle
Hi, Andrew Bell here with you and excited with only a few weeks to go until spring.
Reflecting on the Gold Coast’s history, we used to be a boom and bust city. Significant growth in our real estate prices in a healthy economy, but a major crash in any recessionary or economic downturns. Just look at the GFC in 2008 that saw property values fall anywhere from 20 to 50 percent in the years after that crash.
However, I have never been more confident about the Gold Coast’s future. As I mentioned in previous reports, this city transformed itself off the back of the Commonwealth Games. $16 plus billion was invested into the city and when you consider our population base of around 650,000 that is a massive impact into that population base. We now have a broad-based thread of economic drivers where we have had a major transformation in education, transportation, health, and white industries. Pre COVID-19 we were already experiencing an increasing surge of people from south of the border relocating here to the Gold Coast.
However, COVID-19 has had a profound affect. Touchwood – Queensland has, to date, been able to manage our response in such a way that we have been incredibly fortunate not to have had the terrible consequences that other cities from around the world are experiencing. Part of the reason COVID-19 has been spread so widely in many cities is because they are big, densely populated urban areas. It makes the contagion spread so much more high-risk. What COVID-19 has done for so many people is it has forced them to reassess their future lifestyles. They will not be travelling as much, they will be spending more time at home, and, in many cases, they don’t even have to work at the office. Many of course are retired. Most believe that the COVID-19 type pandemics will now be more frequent and so we are seeing enormous trends of changing lifestyles.
Locally, people have reassessed their lifestyles. Many are moving to bigger homes, and others into smaller homes. Some are moving to acreage, and some are moving into apartments. There is a lot of repositioning of people, but the biggest trend has been the migrators from south of the border. Three weekends ago we sold 9 properties over that weekend to people from Sydney, the ACT, and Melbourne who bought properties sight unseen. Some relied on the videos that we had online, others relied on virtual tours, and some took up our offer for us to FaceTime them and walk through the properties, but they all bought sight unseen. The common theme amongst all nine people was that they had reassessed their life and the general comment was, “we are out of here” and “we want to live in a less risky area and Queensland has everything we need from good weather to greater open space”.
In conversations I have with many of our clients from around the country, people are looking at the Gold Coast in a completely different light. It used to be where you go for a holiday. Increasingly now, it is where people prefer to live.
Back to my point at the beginning. I believe that COVID-19 is playing a significant role in the true making of this city. Breaking the cycle of boom and bust. I believe we will find over this year and in years to come that the Gold Coast will become one of the shining lights of the country and with one of the healthiest property markets in the country. Sure, we won’t escape some challenges that our economy will generate, but we will do so much better than most other places.
It is sad we had to close our borders last week, but it is for the good of all. Our hearts go out to all our fellow Australians as they struggle with the second wave of COVID-19. However, rest assured that we still remain the lucky country, and I would suggest the Gold Coast would perhaps be one of the luckiest parts of this lucky country.
Stay safe and please look for ways to support and encourage one another rather than focusing on judging everyone else and how they are reacting in this current environment. Until you walk in another person’s shoes you really do not know what they are going through. I look forward to being with you in a fortnights time.
Warm Regards, Andrew Bell
Andrew Bell, OAM
Chief Executive Officer
The Ray White Surfers Paradise Group