Interstate downsizers are buying up big in Queensland, as the State emerges relatively unscathed from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Already a favourite among downsizers, consumer search activity over the last four months has shown an increased focus on Queensland, particularly among NSW residents.
Between early May and August, the percentage of Downsizing.com.au consumers searching for Queensland property increased from 26 to 28 per cent, compared to the same period last year.
This trend is replicated in a survey of more than 400 consumers which was launched by Downsizing.com.au and OverSixty.com.au in April.
One in three survey respondents were interested in downsizing in Queensland, despite the fact that only one in four were actually based in the State. Residents from NSW appeared most inclined to move interstate as part of their downsizing move.
Queensland’s warm climate and coastal environment has always had great appeal to downsizers. This has been further enhanced by the State’s ability to withstand the COVID-19 scourge.
As of Sunday, August 9, Queensland had had no new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours, and only 11 active cases. Unlike NSW and Victoria, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the State have flat-lined since mid-April.
However, interstate downsizing interest in Queensland could be impacted by its border shutdown to NSW, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, which began on 1am on Saturday, August 8.
This is because it will be more difficult for people outside of the State to physically inspect properties, although video tours will of course continue.
On 10 August, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released figures found that two in three people in New South Wales and Victoria (67%) reported feeling concerned or very concerned about their personal health due to the spread of COVID-19. In comparison, just over half of Queenslanders (52%) and South Australians (53%) reported the same levels of concern.
Sales remain strong in Queensland
Several Queensland operators have reported strong sales and development activity.
In late July, retirement living operator Aura reported that it had brought forward the construction of the final stage of its The Pavilion North Kirra project on the Gold Coast.
This happened after the company sold $14 million worth of apartments in this stage, just a few days after receiving development approval from Gold Coast City Council.
The final stage of the project includes apartments ranging from $540,000 to $1.18 million, along with The Pavilion’s pool.
An Aura spokeswoman told Downsizing.com.au that recent buyers for The Pavilion project were mainly from the Gold Coast and northern NSW, along with one buyer from the Australian Capital Territory and two from Victoria. (The Victorian buyers purchased in April).
In late July, Reside Communities also launched its luxury Esperance retirement living project at Hope Island on the Gold Coast.
The project will ultimately deliver around 300 deluxe apartments and villas with more than a hectare of green space alongside 150 metres of water frontage. Future plans include dedicated aged care living options and ground floor retail spaces.
Also in July, land lease community operator Halcyon reported strong sales and increased construction activity across three of its communities in South-East Queensland.
Halcyon says it’s had good interest from NSW and Australian Capital Territory buyers, including from the NSW South Coast, Central Coast and Hunter regions.
Earlier this month, prominent Gold Coast real estate figures predicted that downsizers would fill the void left by Chinese investors in the South-East Queensland market.