Market Reflection: Sunshine Coast

Blue Wealth clients that invested in the Sunshine Coast in the most recent cycle would be happy to hear positive sentiment coming from the region. Although the area is more known in the ‘mainstream’ as a hotspot for downsizers and aged pensioners, Matusik Missive has identified that the greatest growth in demand from housing is coming from first home buyers and young renters. The good news coming from the Sunshine Coast can be summarised into four primary categories.

  1. The holding strategy for an investment property in the Sunshine Coast is desirable, with a historically low vacancy rate that currently sits at 1.2 per cent, indicating a significant undersupply of rental housing available in the area. This yields less stress for the investor as they maintain a ‘time in market’ growth strategy.
  2. The aforementioned increase in demand from young renters and first home buyers will counteract the historical increase in median age in the area. Attractive traits that are yielded from a younger population include a proclivity to expend higher proportions of disposable income, stimulating the local economy through socialising and acquiring/upgrading household assets. The Sunshine Coast is also following the capital-city trend of an increase in demand for households with 1-3 bedrooms.
  3. Historically, the Sunshine Coast has been burdened with a significantly high and volatile unemployment rate. Since the global financial crisis aftermath, however, the unemployment rate of the region has reduced in volatility, and as of late 2013 has actually dropped below the state and national unemployment rates of approximately 5.87 per cent.
  4. The Sunshine Coast is a notable tourist destination within Australia and employment in related industries is therefore higher, typically around double that found in the state and national averages according to the 2011 census. Since the census, however, the boost in infrastructure investment has allowed the employment profile of the Sunshine Coast to diversify further into industry sectors that are not as ‘volatile’ or ‘seasonal’ as tourism and hospitality. This includes construction, healthcare and education. Of particular significance is the $2 billion Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital currently under construction.

The good news currently coming out of the Sunshine Coast emphasises the need for investors to take a holistic national approach to their investment strategy and to consider the thorough research undertaken in particular markets. As part of the intricate research process, Blue Wealth considers the macro drivers of population and demographics, economics and employment, infrastructure and investment, and supply and demand in order to ensure that the potential for growth is identified prior to ‘the herd’.

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