‘NEWER TRENDS’: Ray White Maroochydore’s Dan Sowden.
‘NEWER TRENDS’: Ray White Maroochydore’s Dan Sowden.

Agent rejects Coast land demand 'collapse' claims

A LEADING Sunshine Coast real estate agent has rejected new research that suggests demand for local land is down due to the lowest net interstate migration to Queensland in 30 years.

Business researching firm BIS Shrapnel said demand for land on the Sunshine Coast had "collapsed" and was unlikely to bounce back until at least 2014-15.

"Fewer than 1000 lots were estimated to have been produced in each of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts in 2012/13; lower than at any level in at least the last 20 years," the firm suggested in its Residential Land 2013-2018 report.

"Net interstate migration into Queensland in 2010/11 fell to its lowest level in more than 30 years, impacting on the demand for new dwellings," the report stated.

"This was compounded by an estimated excess dwelling supply in both markets in recent years, and a reduced affordability advantage over Brisbane . . . after strong price growth in the last decade."

However, Dan Sowden, of Ray White Maroochydore, said the report's findings were outdated and conflicted with more recent trends.

"All the research is centred around 2010-2012. A lot has changed in this time including both the formation of new state and federal governments, which with policy change will have a significant impact on the state-wide market," Mr Sowden said.

"Locally, land sales make up less than 1% of all our local transactions, and with new home packages lucky to be released below $370,000 there are significantly more affordable options available in the existing market."

The BIS Shrapnel report's author, Angie Zigomanis, said the firm expected any upturn in land sales to be "relatively slow". "There is little pent-up demand in both markets despite the low level of new dwelling supply, while local economic conditions remain weak," Mr Zigomanis said.

"Two of the main economic drivers of both regions are tourism and construction, and while there is some light at the end of the tunnel with large social infrastructure projects commencing in both regions, it will be some time before these two sectors can contribute substantially to employment growth.

"A rise in lot production is forecast in 2013/14 - although activity will remain painfully low - before stronger rises emerge from 2014/15."

Mr Sowden responded: "It's no surprise that developers have been slow to release new land - simply, the cost of production and council levies is pushing the end price beyond today's buyer's level of affordability."

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