The $2 million club: How south-east Queensland became Millionaire’s Row

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Median house prices in a string of suburbs across south-east Queensland have topped the $2 million mark, off the back of soaring demand for beachside property and interstate migration.

Four years ago, not a single suburb in Queensland had a typical house price above $2 million.

House prices have soared in Surfers Paradise.Credit: iStock

Houses in Surfers Paradise reached a median sale price of $2.42 million, rising 17 per cent over the year to June, and 91.3 per cent over the past five years, the latest Domain House Price Report for the June quarter shows.

Brisbane’s Hamilton and New Farm both reached medians of $2.3 million, following respective annual growth of 4.5 per cent and 2.7 per cent, while prices fell 0.8 per cent in Ascot to $2.17 million.

Prices climbed more than 10 per cent annually in the coastal suburbs of Noosa Heads ($2,255,000) and Broadbeach Waters ($2,005,000).

Properties are more expensive still in Sunshine Beach, where the median surpassed the $3 million mark in early 2022 and hit $3.25 million by mid-year, as values tripled over five years. The market has cooled since but the popular Noosa suburb did not have enough house sales over the year to June to record a median.

Another two dozen suburbs have house medians between $1.5 million and $2 million, with experts predicting the upward trend in home values will continue as the state remains underpriced compared to Sydney and Melbourne.

Tom Offermann, of the eponymous Sunshine Coast real estate firm, said demand for homes near the beach had boomed since the pandemic began, and the region was gearing up for a strong spring selling season.

“These suburbs are an extension of Sydney’s northern suburbs now,” he said.

“There are a lot of people that virtually commute between Noosa and capital cities. Some come up every week from Melbourne.

“And there’s nowhere near enough stock to satisfy the appetite. With Noosa’s population cap [and] town planning restrictions there are also very few additional housing developments possible. The finite supply underpins the future value growth.”

Offermann said Noosa’s Sunrise Beach, where the median house price is $1.6 million, could be the next member of the region’s $2 million club.

“The next six months are looking very positive. We’ve already been getting 40 or 50 people coming through first open homes over the past few weekends which are the strongest numbers we’ve experienced this year,” he said. “And we have a lot of southern buyers and an increasing number of expats who are repatriating.”

Offermann’s office achieved the region’s top sale over the past 12 months after securing $23.25 million for 47 Mossman Court in Noosa Heads.

The Sunshine Coast record remains at $34 million, set by a Sunshine Beach mansion in 2021.

On the Gold Coast, John Reid Real Estate principal Scott Reid said he never imagined prices in the Broadbeach Waters would climb to such heights.

“If you had asked me back in the ’90s if I would ever see a property priced at $4 million here, I would have scoffed and laughed. Now they’re priced at $20 million,” he said.

Despite a slow start to the year, Reid said a series of $3-million-plus sales had been racked up, with local buyers leading the charge.

This Sunshine Beach home broke the Sunshine Coast record when it sold for $34 million.Credit: Damien Davidson Builders

“They’re the ones splashing the cash because they see the market progression here,” he said.

“What’s attracting buyers is all the major infrastructure. We’ve got Pacific Fair [shopping centre], we’ve got the casino, a myriad of restaurants and yet it’s quiet and close to everything.”

Surfers Paradise First National director Bob Rollington said low stock levels had fuelled the rapid price growth in the suburb, with interstate buyer interest soaring further, amid the completion of key infrastructure projects such as the light rail.

“The market is strong, and sellers are holding onto their properties,” he said.

Noosa Heads has been drawing property buyers from Sydney and Melbourne.

“It’s a nicer place to live than before… and there’s more growth to come. A lot of homes here are still selling for pocket change [compared to Sydney and Melbourne] and yet you’ve got the great lifestyle and schools.”

In Brisbane, Place Estate Agents Ascot and Nundah director Patrick McKinnon said medians had doubled over the past decade, with hotspots such as Ascot and Hamilton clocking exorbitant growth during the pandemic.

“When COVID-19 hit people from Melbourne and Sydney came here with huge amounts of money … and it hasn’t stopped,” he said.

“It’s mostly the schooling that drives demand here. And this is why Ascot and Hamilton have stayed so strong. The kids can walk to some of the best schools in Brisbane,” McKinnon said.

“I believe we’ll have an amazing six months ahead.”

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