Monday property report: Southern buyers have eye on prize

WHAT a difference a year makes. Last Easter the Sunshine Coast property market was in the early stages of recovery and in the past 12 months there has been a lot of consolidation of confidence.

There has been a significant reduction in the days on market and the number of properties for buyers to choose from, so prices have been increasing at a steady rate.

Increases have been patchy - not across the board - and can depend on the property as much as the location.

Noosa real estate principal Tom Offermann said there were fewer properties that have been for sale for a long time.

"With interest rates lower and tipped to fall further there is upward pressure on values and stock levels are expected to tighten," Mr Offermann said.

"The shortage of development sites to provide new stock for development will only exacerbate the tightness in this market and will put further pressure on prices."

The impact of higher confidence in the market and low interest rates is reflected by Mooloolaba principal Vicki Stewart.

"Property is looking extremely good as a place to have your money invested," Ms Stewart said. "There are good rental returns, and pretty well guaranteed capital growth."

Anything under $600,000 was offering good value, Ms Stewart said

"You can still buy a two-bedroom unit, in a small complex, less than 1km from the beach for $300,000.

"I know where I would rather have my hard-earned money invested!"

On the Maroochy North Shore, houses in the $450,000-$700,000 range seem to be the market at the moment, according to Noel Mooney of North Shore Realty.

"The lower end has moved," he said. "There is virtually nothing under $400,000 whereas this time last year there was."

What is striking him about the market is that buyers from the southern states of Victoria and New South Wales do not have an issue with the asking prices.

An example was the sale of a two-bedroom apartment in Phoenix at Coolum Beach for $750,000.

"They are used to paying a fair price for what they want," he said.

"That was a good price. It has a great ocean outlook."

It's much the same for Robyn Opperman of Belle Property Noosa who is finding there are qualified buyers out of Sydney and Melbourne on the scene who are ready to purchase.

These buyers are split between those wanting to invest and eventually live in Noosa and those who will live elsewhere part of the year and the enjoy Noosa climate the other part of the year.

"It's been a good start to the year," Ms Opperman said. "There is an air of cautiousness though as buyers decide on where best to invest their money.

"What is refreshing is when we hold open homes we are getting a new wave of people through... not the same group trawling through properties.

"That is very optimistic.. fresh buyers coming into the marketplace all the time."

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