The affordable housing controversy that drove a sales surge for luxury $1.5b Jewel towers

The affordable housing controversy that drove a sales surge for luxury $1.5b Jewel towers

Apartments in the third tower of the $1.5 billion Jewel development have just been released after being completed three years ago.

The $1.5 billion Jewel development in Surfers Paradise has reached a new milestone with the long-awaited release of ultra-luxurious apartments in the third tower which was embroiled in an affordable housing controversy in September.

The release of 15 apartments in the third tower has been brought forward after titles to the properties were recently registered following a $200 million spree on 100 apartments by buyers in Tower 1 over the past year.

Ironically, the buyer rush was aided by an ABC News report in September that weighed up whether Tower 3 of the Jewel development, which has not been available to buyers in the three years since the project was completed, should have been released to the market earlier amid the Gold Coast’s housing crisis.

Queensland Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon also weighed in on the controversy arguing that the availability of high-end real estate had an impact on overall housing supply, the lack of which is impacting affordability.

“It was a very interesting angle from ABC News,” says Adrian Parsons, the managing director of TOTAL Property Group which is marketing Jewel Private Residences.

“We actually had a significant spike on our website in the two weeks that followed. We also had a fantastic sales run because of that.

“In fact, it helped us to achieve a sellout of our last release 30 apartments (in Tower 1) which we sold out in a month, and it was partly as a result of people who had seen that article and the online video content.”

Parsons says the buyers that contacted his office said they weren’t looking for affordable housing.

“They were looking for premium apartments and it sounded like that’s what we had to offer.”

The tri-tower Jewel project, the product of a development timetable that took more than a decade to complete, is also home to The Langham, Gold Coast, the newest hotel on the glitter strip, located in the central Tower 2.

Tower 3 is the southernmost building in the three-tower Jewel set comprising 108 apartments across 34 levels with most of them skewed towards three-bedroom layouts. Located closest to the beachfront, the Diamond collection of apartments in the north-facing building are pitched as the most luxurious private residences within the Jewel development.

Prices in the latest release of 15 apartments range from $1.6 million to $7 million for a three-bedroom apartment.

Interiors of Jewel's Diamond collection of apartments just released in Tower 3


Parsons says Jewel had an ‘outstanding year’ of sales for the Sapphire collection in Tower 1 following the first apartment release in December last year.

“We have sold everything we have been given to sell in the north tower. The interest from the market has been phenomenal.”

Parsons expects a further release of 15 to 20 apartments in Tower 1 before Christmas.

“That will take us through January and February. At the same time, we are getting ready to launch the Diamond collection in Tower three where we will have 15 apartments there as well.

“Tower 3 is completely untouched territory. No one has lived in it. The titles were only very recently registered and over the past six weeks we have been preparing it and waiting to go to the market.”

Parsons says his team has ‘quite a list’ of people keen to look at the Diamond collection release.

“I would not be surprised if we sold some in the next few days that actually try to move in before Christmas,” Parsons says.

“The apartments in Tower 3 are very special and they are called the Diamond collection for a reason. They are the premier apartments in the Jewel Residences collection, many of them with ocean views north and south, so they are very unique.

“This is very much a building that is designed for the owner occupier. There is no short-term letting permitted as it is permanent occupation only.”

Residents’ needs will be serviced by a concierge team that will take up their position before Christmas, operating seven days a week from 6am to 9pm.

“It will be the first building at Jewel that has a true residents’ concierge system on site,” Parsons says. “There will be personnel to assist residents with all manner of lifestyle needs.”

Parsons, who is marketing a number of the Gold Coast’s most luxurious developments including the David Devine-led DD Living’s Royale Gold Coast at Surfers Paradise and Burly Residences at Burleigh Heads, has affirmed that cash buyers continue to dominate the luxury apartment space.

“Many of the sales we have made in the north tower have been quick settlements; they have the money on hand and they are ready to move in,” Parsons says.

Luxury market powering on

“What we are finding at the back end of this year is that despite the most recent interest rate rise in November, the market is continuing to power on. Buyers generally know now that we are moving into a tight supply situation where the number of properties available is certainly dwindling.

“I think buyers are very aware that the southeast Queensland property market is trending upwards even though we hear some of the southern markets are starting to cool.

“The Gold Coast luxury market, particularly beachfront, is drawing high-net-worth buyers from other parts of Australia and also overseas that are so enthralled by the Gold Coast lifestyle that they are happy to invest five, six, seven or eight million dollars here for another residence.”

Developer by AW Holding Group, which assumed ownership of the development in 2019 and undertook extensive redevelopment to bring the product in line with market expectations, has made no secret of its patience in bringing Jewel apartments to the market.

Parsons says he is unable to say when his work at Jewel will be done.

“The owners are in no hurry,” he says.

“They want to sell to people who really appreciate the product they have and to the people who recognise the detail in the property.

“Every time we make a release it sells out quickly but that is not necessarily the aim of the owners.

“Having completed apartments when there is uncertainty in the building industry and when apartment demand has never been higher, is a unique situation.

“I haven’t seen this in 25 years where we have a completed building that then goes on the market.”

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