Waterfront leads property resurgence

THE combination of limited supply and a swing in the market is driving investors back to affordable prestige waterfront property on the northern Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast region was once home to a plethora of canal developments, with a large number of developers constructing master-planned communities built around the dream of waterfront living.

But almost 30 years on that dream is fading, with water front living fast becoming a rare commodity in Queensland. Projects on waterfront locations are being snapped by buyers, who are searching for the lifestyle element.

At the $84 million Stillwater apartments at Hope Island, residents are embracing the millionaire’s playground for a ‘bargain price’ which is set to experience dramatic growth when the market recovers.

As part of the multi-award winning Hope Island Resort community, Stillwater overlooks the picturesque marina, inspiring residents to enjoy boating, fishing and an array of water activities – key ingredients for the idyllic sea change lifestyle. Apartments are priced from $560,000 - $1.6 million.

The latest Midwood Report shows that the Gold Coast has been the fastest growing region in Australia for the last four decades and demand for waterfront property is outstripping supply. This is the catalyst behind coastal protection laws to prevent further development of canal residential estates in both NSW and Queensland. Demographer Bernard Salt has forecast the Gold Coast population to expand to 1 million by 2020.

Research by Matusik Property Insights suggests the popularity of waterfront locations is due to undisputed long term capital gains.

“Between 1996 and 2008 the median house price in waterfront localities grew by an average of 14 per cent per annum compared to an average of 10.5 per cent per annum for houses in the inland locations,” says Matusik.

“Despite the global financial crisis house prices in waterfront locations have increased by an average of 18 per cent between 2007 and 2008.”

Australia’s top institutional and private investors believe the nation is well and truly past the bottom of the property cycle and now heading towards upswing, according to new findings by Colliers International.

The majority of investors, at 52 per cent, believe Australia is not only past the bottom of the property cycle, but 64 per cent also believe the upswing will occur earlier than indicated in the first survey ­— by the second or third quarter in 2010 or even earlier, instead of the fourth quarter 2010.

Stillwater marketer Bruce Rylance, says buyers are taking advantage of the current low market by investing in high value developments with amenities and lifestyle already well established.
“Due to its high end value as a completed established product with a strong brand (Hope Island Resort), prime location, access to the highway, infrastructure, marina views and easy access with shopping close by, waterfront property around Hope Island is starting to take off again,” he says.

“On-site marina berths and direct water access gives waterfront property a significant edge when investors are looking for strong returns which is only one of the features of Stillwater Marina Apartments.”

Stillwater features 110 luxurious waterfront apartments in a range of two-bedroom to five-bedroom configurations, ranging in size from 128 to 477sqm.

Facilities include 250 marina berths with 32 offered exclusively for Stillwater residents, golf buggy access, an outdoor 25m lagoon-style lap pool, sauna, steam room, a poolside barbecue, gymnasium and alfresco entertainment area.

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