A lack of available commercial space on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast could be stymying important small-business activity, according to one expert in the field.
Raine & Horne’s Sunshine Coast commercial outfit has reported that demand along the beachside stretch is so strong that there’s not a single block between Noosa and Caloundra available for sale.
The brand’s commercial sales and leasing director David C Smith predicted this high demand to continue and told buyers to expect elevated prices for the remainder of 2022.
Activity has been hot since the end of last year, according to the commercial property expert.
“In the six weeks leading up to the middle of December, we completed as many sales and leasing transactions under my banner as I had in the previous six months,” Mr Smith said.
He credited the dramatic increase in interest to the same factors that have been propelling the region’s residential prices skyward.
“We had 44,000 people move to the Sunshine Coast over the last year, and the local population is set to reach 500,000 by 2031, and the issue is we don’t have enough commercial property stock to keep up with demand”.
The population increase has led to commercial demand being up overall, with new residents looking to open businesses of all sorts, or existing Sunshine Coasters branching out to serve the more robust community needs.
Mr Smith has been catering to everyone from IT ventures seeking storage facilities to hospitality businesses such as boutique breweries, and beyond.
Overall, though, requests for space have largely been coming from small and medium-sized enterprises, with the recent low-interest rates encouraging more entrepreneurs to put their plans into motion.
An unfortunate barrier to entrepreneurship has been the dearth of available properties.
“The lack of stock hinders people from doing what they want to do,” Mr Smith commented.
But he pointed to forthcoming opportunities such as the Walker Corporation’s $2.5 billion investment in the Maroochydore City Centre, known as Sun Central, as reason not to despair.
The Walker Corporation has negotiated an agreement with Sunshine Coast Council to develop a 53-hectare greenfield site in the heart of Maroochydore.
The development will offer roughly 160,000 square metres of commercial and retail space, in addition to 4,000 residential apartments.
“We expect people with small businesses moving here from interstate and Brisbane will drive demand for space within Sun Central,” Mr Smith said.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.
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