IF THERE was any doubt about investor appetite for luxury apartments on the Gold Coast, the rush for first-release properties in the $1 billion Jewel project has laid that to rest.
Chinese developer Wanda Ridong has announced it has sold 38 apartments worth $55 million within a week of them hitting the market.
The sales are part of a limited release of 50 apartments, and reflect an average sale price of $1.44 million.
The initial sales ranged from $675,000 for one-bedroom apartments to $5 million for a three-bedroom luxury apartment on the upper levels of the mixed-use residential resort. The properties sold to a mix of domestic and international buyers.
"What almost all of the early purchasers had in common was a strong connection with the Gold Coast," says Andrew Bampton, Jewel's director of sales and marketing.
"They either live on the Coast, have friends or relatives living on the Coast, or have visited in the past for holidays.
"That shows us that Jewel buyers are attracted in the first instance by the Gold Coast's natural beauty and spectacular scenery, which then motivates their decision to secure a lifestyle for themselves and to create a legacy for future generations of their families."
Jewel is being developed on a 1.1ha site on the beachfront at the southern end of the Gold Coast. Preliminary demolition and earthworks have been completed with construction poised to start in earnest before the end of the year.
The three-tower project, which will deliver a six-star Wanda hotel to the Gold Coast accommodation market, is expected to be completed by 2018.
Wanda launched a simultaneous marketing campaign for apartments in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as the Gold Coast, last weekend.
The company has continually emphasised that pre-sales are not conditional for the project to proceed as it is equity funded by Wanda Group, one of China's largest developers.
While remaining apartments in the first release will be made available from October 10, Wanda is expected to hold off on releasing the second tranche until next year.
"Once this first release is sold out, potential buyers will have to wait until well in 2016 for another opportunity to call Jewel home," says Bampton.
Jewel is the first absolute beachfront resort development on the Gold Coast since the Sheraton Mirage was developed in the 1980s and the project is capitalising on a low-point in stock levels for luxury apartments on the tourism strip.
Jewel is Wanda Group's first development outside China and, while it is being heavily promoted through Wanda's global networks, Bampton expects just 30 per cent of sales to come from foreign investors.
The developer's expectation that the project will resonate with domestic buyers has led it to open a dedicated sales centre in Sydney at Goldfields House.
"It's highly unusual to fit out a dedicated sales office in another capital city, but we have said from the start that Jewel will be a landmark project for the entire Australian market, not just the Gold Coast," says Bampton.
"Its location, architecture and luxury appointments will set a new benchmark for developments across Australia, and it is fitting that we bring this offering to Australia's largest city."
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