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Takeaways from the 2016 Census: The Gold Coast perspective

By Andrew Bell

It's finally arrived! The data from the 2016 Census has been released, and there are some fascinating takeaways for Australians across the nation. We're most interested in the property side of things, especially here in the Gold Coast where new developments have seen the city change radically since the last census in 2011. The new data reflects these changes, and it's got a few very interesting things to tell us about the state of play in the Gold Coast property market

1. Less stress, state wide

Mortgage stress, that is. In case you're unfamiliar with the term, mortgage stress refers to being in the position of having to spend over 30 per cent of your income (before tax) on home loan repayments. Not only is this a stressful position to be in, but it also puts homeowners in the so-called 'danger zone,' where they may struggle to make repayments.

The good news then, is that fewer people throughout Queensland are facing mortgage stress, with 6.4 per cent of homeowners in the danger zone, compared to 9.7 per cent in the last census. There are all sorts of contributing factors to this shift, but undoubtedly the largest is the lower Reserve Bank cash rate – 1.5 per cent today compared to 4.75 per cent in 2011. 

2. The Gold Coast's population has boomed

We all knew this was coming, but now we have the numbers to back it up. Since 2011, the Gold Coast Local Government Area has seen a population increase of 12.4 per cent, with many new residents flocking to the sandiest, sunniest parts of the region. Surfers Paradise alone has seen growth of 15.6 per cent, underlining just how lucrative the premier suburbs are in terms of luring new people to the city.

Of course, growth in infrastructure and the presence of big events like the 2018 Commonwealth Games are also contributing factors that have attracted more people to the Gold Coast. In practical terms, this population increase will have a few effects on the area. First of all, more people equates to more competition for properties, so we can expect to see increases in sale prices, and rental rates. In addition, although there are already plenty of new residential developments underway, continued growth could mean that even more get the green light, providing more places to live for everyone in the region. 

These are both positive changes for the Gold Coast, and we can't wait to see what the future holds, and how things change between now and the next census in 2021! For more information on all things Gold Coast property, contact Ray White today

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