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Coast land prices top nation

PRD Nationwide Coolum sales manager Andy Lake says $280,000 was “about average” for land on the Coast.
PRD Nationwide Coolum sales manager Andy Lake says $280,000 was “about average” for land on the Coast. Nicola Brander

THE Sunshine Coast now has the most expensive land in the country and sales are suffering.

Our beachside paradise has been on the shortlist for the dubious honour for years, but a report released this week showed we have eclipsed even Sydney.

Figures from the Housing Industry Association puts the median price of land here at $280,000 – more than $10,000 above its Botany Bay counterpart.

The surprising step to the top podium has been blamed on vacant land sales crashing across the country, including an 81% drop on the Sunshine Coast.

However, a low supply of available housing land kept our prices high even as Sydney’s average price dropped almost $11,000

The data covered sales made in the final three months of 2010 compared to the same time in 2009.

HIA Queensland assistant director of property Mike Roberts described the results as “bleak”.

“What we are seeing (on the Sunshine Coast) is a combination of unmet demand and a land delivery process that’s slow and expensive,” he said.

“Sydney held the most expensive land title for a while but prices in Sydney have dropped.”

In the September quarter of 2009, 483 vacant lots were sold here – in the same time last year it had fallen to just 93.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the most expensive land in the country is experiencing the biggest drop in sales,” Mr Roberts said.

Coolum Beach PRD Nationwide sales manager Andy Lake said he agreed $280,000 was “about average” for land on the Coast.

The agency lists a number of vacant blocks at Coolum Beach for about that price.

Sunshine Coast Daily’s research found those lots were originally bought for about $20,000 as part of a land sale in the late 1990s.

“The thing with places like Sydney is the inner suburbs don’t have room for urban spread,” Mr Lake said.

“If you take Horton Park as an example, if that was developed, that’s prime real estate. In Sydney, they have no space left.”

Mr Lake said the market had changed since the early 2000s when whole releases of land would be sold within a week.

Ausmar Homes director Tim Hendy said the figures might be skewed because projects in both Sydney and Gold Coast could be “crap” compared to developments here.

“There are crappy areas in Sydney and the Gold Coast but we don’t have much of that on the Sunshine Coast.”

Mr Hendy said part of the price issue came from the council’s infrastructure and charges but it was not the only cause.


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