Issue 21 | Thursday, September 10th 2020 | The Gold Coast’s Exponential Growth
Hi, Andrew Bell here with you, and my goodness we can certainly feel the spring weather as the temperature begins to warm up.
The Thursday before last was a spectacular day for us. The 29th year in a row where we were named Queensland’s No. 1 Ray White Office; together with other awards such as the highest-ranking Commercial Sales Office in the country, the No. 1 Property Management Office for the third consecutive year, and the Community Contribution award for the $5 million-odd we have raised for community groups over the years.
It made me reflect on our great city. Our history goes back to the 1880’s where land along the Nerang River at Southport caught the eyes of Brisbane’s elite’s and it was identified as an ideal holiday house destination. At the time, Southport was a bustling township in a part of Queensland that was then better known for farming and cedar logging.
Beach houses, hotels, and guest houses sprang up to meet the growing demand from local holidaymakers and by the 1930’s most of the coastline between Southport and the New South Wales, border had been developed into holiday homes. That period was when we first saw strong price growth and as it drew notoriety around the country, what was previously known as the ‘South Coast’ earnt a new name as the ‘Gold Coast’ as prices skyrocketed. An analogy of course with gold being so valuable.
It wasn’t until 1959 that the town of the South Coast was reclaimed as the City of the Gold Coast, and that year saw the construction of a building called Kinkabool which is famous for being the first high-rise tower. A modest 10-story building that still exists today just near the Paradise Centre, but it transformed the thinking on the Gold Coast.
A polish-born Melbourne-based entrepreneur, Stanley Korman became one of the driving forces. Not only did he build Kinkabool, but he was involved in several nearby canal estates. He was inspired by the resorts of Miami and Hawaii and he pioneered the development of large-scale hotels with upmarket amenities. As more and more people learned of the Gold Coast, it’s growth accelerated through the second half of the 1900’s, and by the 2000’s we truly became an international destination with massive investment initially from the Japanese, then from Singapore and Hong Kong investors, followed by buyers from the UAE and Russia, and over the last ten years by the Chinese. However, it is New Zealand that has always been our largest foreign investors and makes up such a welcoming percentage of our permanent Gold Coast population.
Q1 is of course our crowning glory in high-rises and at 322.5m in height, it was the tallest residential tower in the world until 2011. Our famous landscape was also the home of the first Versace hotel and today houses many originally designed high-rise buildings.
As we collected award after award the week before last, it reminded me of the role we have played over the past 30 years in promoting and driving this city. The Ray White Surfers Paradise Group and the City of the Gold Coast go hand in hand and it has been our great privilege to have helped in the development of this city, but it is it’s future that we are most excited about. COVID-19 has reshaped everyone’s thinking and now we are not seen as Australia’s preferred holiday destination but as Australia’s preferred permanent residential location, and we are seeing unprecedented numbers of fellow Australians from Victoria, New South Wales, ACT and South Australia buying into our city. Our future is no longer dependent on a narrow scope of businesses such as tourism, education and so on, but it broadens its economic base with an ever-increasing wealth base.
It has been my pleasure to bring our fortnightly reports to you for over 8 years now, and you can be assured that we will continue to give you the most accurate and finger on the pulse feedback about our market as we move forward.
Spring is upon us, we have handled COVID-19 better than most countries in the world, and lets never forget how lucky we are to be Australians.
I’ll be back to you in a fortnights time with more information about the market.
Warm Regards, Andrew Bell
Andrew Bell, OAM
Chief Executive Officer
The Ray White Surfers Paradise Group