A resurgent tourism sector has emerged as one of the key drivers of the Gold Coast property market, with Ray White Surfers Paradise recording a remarkable jump in transactions to interstate and overseas buyers.
RWSP has recorded 163 sales to interstate and overseas buyers in the September quarter, accounting for 49 per cent of all transactions – up from 35 per cent at the same time last year.
RWSP CEO Andrew Bell said an upswing in the number of tourists making their way to the holiday strip was the driving force behind a spike in sales to out-of-towners.
“In the past few months we have witnessed a significant rise in buyers from interstate or overseas,” he said.
“This shows how significant the national and international markets are for the Gold Coast right now.
“Many buyers, particularly from Sydney and Melbourne, are well-heeled having reaped the rewards of property price growth in their own cities.
“They see the Gold Coast as very good value as a market that is still in recovery.”
Mr Bell said RWSP had also sold more than 300 properties to Chinese buyers in the past year.
Tourism Australia figures reveal Australia, particularly the Gold Coast, is experiencing the largest influx of overseas visitors since the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
The Gold Coast recorded a 5.5 per cent rise in the number of international visitors for the year to June.
Visitors from Asia led the charge with Malaysian tourism to the Coast up a whopping 40 per cent and Chinese visitation up 4.2 per cent.
Mr Bell said many visitors, whether from interstate or overseas, fell in love with the city and decided to buy an investment property to use as a holiday base and short-term rental.
“There is also an increasing number of people deciding to move here permanently, encouraged by more affordable real estate on the Gold Coast than in the southern states,” he said.
“For example, many Sydneysiders can sell their current home, free up equity and then move to a similar-standard property on the Gold Coast with enough money to spare for an investment.”
Mr Bell said the agency was gearing up for a bumper peak summer season, which would coincide with RWSP’s major annual auction in January.
He said all the ingredients were there for a bumper auction showcase, with real estate sentiment having improved significantly over the past year and high tourist traffic expected over summer.
“We are preparing for a knock-out peak period with an influx of tourists set to hit our shores,” he said.
“Vendors are starting to bring their properties to market as selling conditions improve.