HTW October report says:
"Over the last 9 months, it would be of no surprise that the new apartment market has been one of the hardest hit. Scanning the Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach skyline, it would be fair to say that there is currently limited activity on the building front, with a lack of crane activity. Developers are still holding apartment stock from residential developments (predominantly medium and high rise projects) completed in 2008, purely because the resale market (of near new apartments) is too competitive on price.
A large proportion of new apartment product on the Gold Coast is sold to interstate and to a lessor extent, overseas investors at price levels which are considered to be in excess of local market values. The premium paid for new apartments is often not sustainable on resale, especially within a short holding term.
The sustained softening in values of new apartment product is not limited to Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, but is also apparent in the northern and southern parts of the Gold Coast. The new and near new apartment market in Coolangatta has been underperforming for some 18 months now. The completion of a number of medium and high rise projects towards the end of 2007 and early 2008, in conjunction with the increase in supply of near new apartments coming back to the market at that time, has had a signficant negative effect on market values. Market conditions are in such a state at the moment, that a new apartment project nearing completion is likely to see a signficant settlement risk (ie. purchasers may forego their deposits and not settle because of the significant drop in market values). In this development, of the 43 contracts signed “off the plan”, 41 were signed in 2007, in much better market conditions.
From Southport to Hollywell, the new medium and high rise apartment market is also soft with similar prevailing factors as to those experienced in the central and southern parts of the Gold Coast. Stock levels are high and sales rates are low. The resale apartment market is considered an impediment to these stocks levels reducing. Developers however are utilising innovative marketing techniques, in conjunction with professional marketeers which entice potential buyers to purchase. Rental guarantees, cash backs, and fitout incentives are just some of these. These incentives are generally built into the price."Hope Island, which is considered an established good to prestige quality residential house location, is really yet to prove itself for medium to high density apartment living. Over the past 5 years there have been a number of large apartment projects built in this area, achieving only modest sales performance with most projects retaining considerable developer stock, some in the hands of receivers. There is currently approximately 300 apartments (in new projects) for sale in the Hope Island locality."