BILLIONAIRE developer Harry Triguboff rates the Gold Coast as Australia’s property hotspot over the next two years, ahead of his home turf Sydney which is benefiting from an influx of Chinese money.
Triguboff, speaking today at a Young Professionals luncheon, says Sydney prices have surged ahead too quickly as a result of foreign investment, but he says the Gold Coast continues to remain a victim of depressed prices.
“I’ve been building here for over 30 years so I do know the area,” says Triguboff, who has just started work on the last residential tower of his Brighton on Broadwater complex at Southport.
“Today in Sydney I’m staying away from the more expensive areas and concentrating on the second-tier areas.
“Unfortunately prices are very depressed on the Gold Coast, but they will go up.”
Triguboff, who heads cashed-up development group Meriton Apartments, says the Gold Coast has been a problem market for his portfolio for some time, particularly the serviced apartment tower at Brighton on Broadwater.
“In the beginning I had a lot of problems with serviced apartments in Southport because that was not the ideal position for serviced apartments,” he says.
“But now that block (at Brighton on Broadwater) has improved more than any other block I have - and I have 13 other blocks.”
Meriton operates serviced apartments in Sydney Brisbane and the Gold Coast and is currently exploring opportunities in Melbourne for the first time.
Triguboff says property gains in Melbourne will not compare with the growth he expects on the Gold Coast over the next two years.
Meriton Apartments has just completed development of two of Brisbane’s tallest buildings – Soleil and Infinity – and is now turning its focus to the Gold Coast again.
A company spokesman says just 20 apartments remain for sale in the Brisbane projects which have pumped more than 1000 apartments into the CBD market.
Triguboff says the Gold Coast has a great deal going for it, including a broad range of universities, the light rail and new hospital, as well as the Commonwealth Games.
“With the Commonwealth Games we will attract people who have never been here before," he says.
Triguboff says facilities such as a cruise ship terminal and improvements to the Gold Coast airport will be a catalyst to lift the city’s global profile.
But he says the cruise ship terminal should not be dependent on a casino to go ahead.
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