Jobs growth powering Sunshine Coast market

The Sunshine Coast property market is seeing a pick-up on the back of strong employment growth in the region, a local buyer’s agent has said.

Queensland treasurer Tim Nicholls reported that more jobs were created on the Sunshine Coast last year than in any other region in the state.

“The employment growth experienced on the Sunshine Coast in the year to February 2014 was more than eight times greater than the state-wide average,” Mr Nicholls said.

“There are 11,300 more people in work in the region than there were 12 months ago.”

Real Property Advice buyer’s agent Scott Northcott said these results were likely linked to the new hospital precinct underway in Kawana.

“That’s where a lot of your employment is going to come from, both in construction and ongoing employment once it’s running,” he said.

Mr Northcott believes the new jobs zone has “powered along” the local property market after a long period of stagnant growth.

“From November 2012 to February 2013, there was a fundamental change in the market. It was doom and gloom up until then,” Mr Northcott said.

“December came and it was quiet. Around Christmas, there was more enquiry. From January onwards, the market has started to move up.”

According to Mr Northcott, prices began rising and houses are being snapped up more quickly, in some cases within 24 hours.

In addition, new housing estates near the health precinct helped boost the value of existing properties.

“There has been a price movement in that older stock because it’s catching up with the newer stock,” he said.

In his experience, older properties that were bought for $370,000 at the start of the upturn are now sitting at $410,000.

Mr Northcott said he cannot predict if current growth levels are sustainable, with the outcome dependent on future development and housing construction.

However, he said other infrastructure projects in the region also promised to stimulate the local market, including a second runway at the airport and the creation of a new town centre.

Ultimately, he said current high growth signalled confidence returning to the market, even if projects are not yet completed.

“All those things point in a direction that it wasn’t in before,” he said.

“It gives people a future and it gives people a hope. Confidence changes, people’s outlook changes and all of a sudden they do different things.”

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