by: Michelle Hele, Property Editor
From: The Courier-Mail July 13, 2013 12:00AM
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WITH first-home buyers conspicuously absent, overseas and interstate tourists are tipped to be the next group of potential buyers to boost the ailing property market.
Ray White Surfers Paradise Group chief executive Andrew Bell said growing tourist numbers had translated into more overseas and domestic visitors using their Gold Coast holiday to invest in homes and apartments.
Buyers’ agent Simon Pressley, of Propertyology, believes it won’t just be visitors buying property which will boost the market, but the flow on effect of their visits. He said with Asia’s middle class growing rapidly, many would have the money to travel the world and Australia would figure prominently.
“Australia’s proximity to these expanding Asian markets marks the beginning of a new era of tourism growth and investment opportunities,” he said.
He said an upswing in tourists filtered money through to local businesses, resulted in employment for locals and the capacity and confidence to buy, upgrade, or renovate.
“Large tourism projects generally create thousands of construction jobs and ongoing employment,” Mr Pressley said. “With this comes a long-term boost to local economies and creates demand for housing.”
Mr Bell said overseas buyers tended to focus on new apartments and homes within prestige residential resorts, like Sanctuary Cove and Hope Island Resort.
As well as buyers from China and Singapore in recent months, there had been a resurgence of long-absent Japanese buyers, he said.
“They (international buyers) see an attractive and burgeoning destination that offers the kind of quality residential product they are looking for and that ticks all the boxes,” he said.
Mr Bell said many Australian buyers were coming from Victoria and New South Wales as the Gold Coast was still considered good value.
“We are also seeing the benefit of the rising number of day domestic visitors making their way to the Coast on weekends and school holidays,” he said.
Tourism and Events Queensland figures show a 10 per cent rise in domestic visitors and a 3 per cent rise in overseas visitors to the Gold Coast in the past 12 months. At the same time, tourism numbers dropped slightly on the Sunshine Coast and in north Queensland.
Real Estate Institute of Queensland Sunshine Coast zone chairman, Lloyd Edwards, said the big driver of the Sunshine Coast property market in recent months had been infrastructure, not tourism. He said the Sunshine Coast University Hospital under construction at Kawana, combined with a new east-west runway which could go through the Sunshine Coast Airport, were drivers of population growth and property market activity.
Mr Edwards said the runway would result in more fly-in, fly-out workers who may decide to base themselves on the Sunshine Coast.
“A fair bit of money is pouring into the Maroochy CBD,” he said.