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Brisbane Leading the Nation in Property Performance Indicators, But Boom Talk Premature

August 17, 2018,
Australia, Brisbane City

Australia, Brisbane City

New research from property data firm CoreLogic has indicated that Brisbane is leading the nation on most property performance indicators, but some experts are curbing talk of a imminent property boom in the Sunshine State.

According to the CoreLogic Daily Home Value Index, Brisbane recorded a 1.2 per cent increase in the median house price for the 12 months to August 2018.

This compared to -5.6 per cent in Sydney, -1.1 per cent in Melbourne and a combined -2.9 per cent for the five capital cities across Australia.

While the results reflect a marked correction in the southern cities of Sydney and Melbourne, the gains in Queensland are being met with equal measures of enthusiasm and scepticism by the broader sector.

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*The monthly change is the change over the past 28 days.CoreLogic

The latest BIS Oxford Economics report confirmed Brisbane as a ‘surprise performer’ with expected house price growth of 2- to 3 per cent to 2019-20, before greater growth of six per cent forecast in 2020-21.BIS’ Residential Property Prospects 2018 to 2021 reports that a current oversupply of dwellings, particularly within the apartment market, will ensure the upside won’t be immediate.

Related: Brisbane House Price Strength Will Continue As Sydney, Melbourne Slows: BIS

According to PRDnationwide’s Affordable and Liveable Property Guide, Brisbane has proven to be the most affordable and liveable capital city.

Brisbane’s Algester was the standout suburb for both houses and units with the lowest entry price and highest rental yield, combining affordability and liveability given its low entry prices and proximity to supermarkets, parkland, public schools, a medical centre and the motorway.

“Liveability is gaining traction among home buyers and does attract a cost,” the report stated.

Related: Brisbane Is Australia’s Most Liveable Capital City: Report

But some experts are pouring cold water on talk of a immediate property boom.

"Typical restored traditional domestic architecture in Brisbane, Australia. These types of houses are known as 'Queenslanders' and are built up off the ground because of the tropical climate."

“Typical restored traditional domestic architecture in Brisbane, Australia. These types of houses are known as ‘Queenslanders’ and are built up off the ground because of the tropical climate.”

Brisbane Leading the Nation in Property Performance Indicators, But Boom Talk Premature

The latest BIS Oxford Economics report confirmed Brisbane as a ‘surprise performer’ with expected house price growth of 2- to 3 per cent to 2019-20, before greater growth of six per cent forecast in 2020-21.
Propertyology Head of Research, Simon Pressley, said that the Sunshine State capital continued to post less than stellar results because the wider economy is not doing enough of the heavy lifting.“Brisbane has some good property market fundamentals, but we have to go way back to 2007 to find the last time that its property market produced double-digit price growth,’ Pressley claims.

“Brisbane’s long-running underachieving property market is a reflection of a city with enormous potential but lacking boldness and a clear direction. Of course, that is not helped by the fact that Queensland had four premiers in just 10 years,” he said.

The situation may be starting to change.

Recent announcements by the State Government to invest $46 billion in major infrastructure projects, including the Cross River Rail, have experts predicting a spike in new job creation.

Economic forecaster Deloitte Access Economics said that the outlook for engineering construction in Queensland is better than it has been for some time.

Related: Queensland’s $46 Billion Infrastructure Boom

The State Government’s State Infrastructure Plan (SIP) focuses on a range of infrastructure spending, including $11.6 billion of infrastructure investment to be rolled out in 2018-19, which aims to support up to 38,000 jobs.

This is supported by the Brisbane City Council and the Federal Government’s $944 million investment in Brisbane Metro project which is now fully funded.

Other major projects include Brisbane Airport’s second runway, Queen’s Wharf and the Howard Smith Wharves redevelopment.

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Shoebox apartments won’t meet family-friendly housing demand as millennials come of age

August 13, 2018,

Shoebox apartments won’t meet family-friendly housing demand as millennials come of age

By business reporter Stephanie Chalmers

Updated 2 Aug 2018, 12:24pmThu 2 Aug 2018, 12:24pm

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Photo: As Generation Y start families, medium-density dwellings are tipped to be in demand, rather than small high-rise apartments. (ABC News: Lawrence Champness)

Related Story: Australian housing prices are falling at their fastest rate in six years

Related Story: Building approvals rebound as property sector shows resilience

Related Story: Construction set for its biggest fall since GFC

The tiny inner-city apartments built during the boom of the past decade are unlikely to meet the needs of Generation Y as they grow older.

Changing demographics over the next 10 years are tipped to drive demand for smaller dwellings — but not that small, according to BIS Oxford Economics.

The economic forecaster has crunched the population numbers and concluded that rapid growth in the 20-to-34-year-old age bracket over the past 15 years will see Generation Y, or millennials, shape the residential property market over the next decade.

As Generation Y move into their late 30s and 40s and are more likely to be living in family households with children, they will need to balance convenience and affordability with home ownership and the separate dwellings typically sought after in that life stage.

“For people who would like to remain in the inner or middle suburbs, that’s going to be financially out of reach, so they’ll be looking for something that offers more amenity but will be at a more affordable price,” Angie Zigomanis from BIS Oxford Economics said.

“Probably the best type of dwelling that meets that compromise is a townhouse.”

Bigger apartments, outdoor spaces ‘missing from the market’

Investor demand has seen apartment construction boom — particularly in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane — but Mr Zigomanis said the studio, one and small two-bedroom apartments that are attractive to Generation Y as they rent in their 20s are unlikely to hold the same appeal as they age.

 

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Photo: BIS Oxford expects the trend towards townhouse and apartment living to continue (ABS, BIS Oxford Economics)

He is projecting increased demand for medium-density housing including townhouses, larger units and villas with at least three bedrooms.

Outdoor spaces, such as courtyards and rooftops, and more space inside, will also be in demand — something he said has been missing from the apartment market over the past decade.

Unit boom heading for a bust?

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The apartment blocks soaring above capital cities look like heading into oversupply, and that means prices will fall.

BIS Oxford recently sounded an alarm over the residential building market, tipping the biggest fall since the GFC, led by a slump in high-density dwelling construction.

The large-scale, high-rise developments that sell apartments off the plan to investors do not hold the same appeal to owner-occupiers.

Mr Zigomanis expects those coming up behind Generation Y to continue to demand high-density apartments for rentals, but says growth will not be as strong as it has been.

“There’s not going to be the need to build as many new apartments as we have been,” he said, noting the next generation is a similar size to Generation Y.

Baby boomers tipped to add to townhouse demand

The growing over-65s segment of the population is not tipped to favour smaller apartments either.

BIS notes downsizing has been growing at a “glacial” pace and, even if it picks up, demand is not expected to be fulfilled by small, high-rise dwellings.

“Previous research that we’ve undertaken suggests that many baby boomers would still like to stay in the area that they’re living in, where they’ve already made friends and social connections,” Mr Zigomanis said.

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Photo: The number of households in the 35-49 age bracket will increase over the next decade as Gen Y ages. (ABS, BIS Oxford Economics)

“Their preference will be towards two and three-bedroom townhouse-type dwellings as well, similar to that being demanded by Gen Y.

“Between them they will create, from our point of view, more demand in those inner and middle suburbs for that medium-density-type product over the next decade.”

Demand for medium-density housing is not as easy for developers to meet — apartment sites go up, but townhouse and villa-style developments require going out.

Disused industrial land or replacing detached houses on larger lots with multiple units could be a solution, according to Mr Zigomanis.

Topics: housing-industry, housing, business-economics-and-finance, family, population-and-demographics, australia

First posted 2 Aug 2018, 4:41amThu 2 Aug 2018, 4:41am

 

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Queensland’s $46 Billion Infrastructure Boom

August 1, 2018,

Queensland’s $46 Billion Infrastructure Boom

 

The Palaszczuk Government has released an update to its 2018 State Infrastructure Plan as it aims to roll-out a total of $45.8 billion worth of infrastructure over the next four years.

The second part of its State Infrastructure Plan (SIP) focuses on a range of infrastructure spending with its updated release, outlining the $11.6 billion of infrastructure investment to be rolled out in 2018-19, which aims to support up to 38,000 jobs.

Economic forecaster Deloitte Access Economics said that the outlook for engineering construction in Queensland is better than it has been for some time.

“Rather than wallowing in cash from a strong property market and asset privatisations as NSW and Victoria are, the Government is relying more heavily on raising new tax revenue and increasing debt to fund this infrastructure,” Deloitte’s quarterly Business Outlook report said.

Up to 65 per cent of the Queensland’s infrastructure budget is allocated outside of the greater Brisbane area, explained Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick.

“Programs like the Queensland Transport Roads and Investment Program 2018-19 to 2021-22 outlines $21.7 billion in transport and road infrastructure over the next four years, estimated to support an average of 19,200 direct jobs over the life of the program.

 

 

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“Brisbane’s Proposed $2 Billion Entertainment Precinct Could Soon Become Reality”

June 2, 2017,

State Government officials on Friday will determine whether or not Brisbane’s proposed $2 billion arena and entertainment precinct is ready to jump to the next level.

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Entrepreneur Harvey Lister told The Courier Mail that he expects feedback when he meets with the government to discuss the plans.

The Brisbane Live Masterplan for Roma Street was designed by NRA Collaborative and features a 17,000 seat venue able to host a multitude of events from music to indoor sports. The Roma Street edge includes 3 towers delivering commercial, hotel & a signature 90 storey residential tower defining the city frame. The podium to Roma Street would host a variety of retail, dining & cinema attractions to enliven the street edge.

The precinct would also deliver 12 hectares of subtropical parkland and recreation space to enhance the existing Roma Street Parklands, and integrate major public transport & infrastructure including the Roma Street station and platforms, the proposed Cross River Rail, future Brisbane Metro and the relocation of the existing transit centre underground.

The chairman of Brisbane-based international venue management group AEG Ogden, reportedly prepared a 150-page detailed financial brief with the help of JLL to explore the opportunities to attract private investment in hotels, apartments, restaurants, shops, offices and possibly even education or research facilities around the 17,000-seat main arena.

“The redevelopment concept for the whole of the Roma Street site is a truly unique one-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we believe its time has come,’’ he told The Courier-Mail.

The Courier-Mail said he was hopeful the proposal could get final approval within a year and wants to see it built by 2021-22 to coincide with the opening of Brisbane’s new $3 billion riverside casino-resort complex just a 10-minute walk away.

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Construction works start on Howard Smith Wharves revitalisation project

Construction is yet to start on the long-awaited $110 million development of Brisbane’s last remaining city wharf, but it has already attracted bookings from eager residents.

In December, 2015, Brisbane CIty Council approved the Howard Smith Wharves project beneath the Story Bridge.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the waterfront development could bring exciting opportunities to the city.

“Good things come to those who wait,” Cr Quirk said.

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“When the product is completed I think people will say, yes this is a good outcome for Brisbane.

“What we’ve seen with this development is what we see in a lot of spaces where this is often a bit of fear of the unknown and when it’s developed people will say well it wasn’t as bad as we thought, in fact it’s very good for Brisbane.”

The redevelopment of the 3.43 hectare site will feature a luxury hotel, park and public open spaces.

“This development, undertaken by successful tenderer The Howard Smith Wharves Consortium, will deliver a five star, 164-room Art Series Hotel as well as parkland, a 1500 square metre exhibition space, restaurants and bars,” Cr Quirk said.

“The existing heritage-listed buildings will form a feature of the redevelopment and, once meticulously restored, will become home to lively river’s edge restaurants, bars, a craft brewery and function spaces.”

The first works towards the redevelopment of the Howard Smith Wharves Revitalisation project are expected to start this week.

Key features of Howard Smith Wharves project:

  • A dining, retail and tourism centre utilising the existing heritage-listed buildings.
  • New public open spaces that may be used for markets and festivals.
  • 164 rooms in a five-star Art Series Hotel.
  • A hotel facade that blends into the cliff face with natural tones and textures to keep the iconic Story Bridge as the main focus.
  • Underground car park for 359 vehicles.
  • 33 employee bicycle spaces and a further 50 bicycle spaces for visitors throughout the parkland.
  • Parkland and public open spaces including lifts linking the site to the top of the cliffs.
  • A 1500 square metre exhibition space.

HSW Consortium director Adam Flaskas said it had been a long journey to get to the start of 18 month construction phase.

“We’ve already started taking bookings for events,” Mr Flaskas said.

He said they had taken a “large number” of bookings for the convention and event spaces and that they had started to hold spots for potential customers.

“Waterfront event and exhibition spaces will be capable of hosting functions of over 1000 people, with glass walls revealing views up along each bend of the Brisbane River and up to the Story Bridge,” Mr Flaskas said.

HSW Consortium will have overall responsibility for the entire site and is responsible for the design and construction of the park and open space areas, while the hotel development and operation will be undertaken by the Deague Group.

Access through the site to Riverwalk will remain open at all times during construction.

Construction is expected to be completed by late 2018.

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2017 Interest Rate Forecast

May 12, 2017,

Interest rates were put on hold yet again last week, but there is increasing conversation about rising interest rates. I do not believe anyone thinks for a minute that official interest rates are likely to go any lower, and if they were to do so, it would be quite an alarming statement about our economy. The Reserve Bank is holding in reserve lower interest rates only for emergency situations.

We all also know that the Four Major Banks, and many of the second tier banks, have already started to put interest rates up independent of the Reserve Bank settings. We are getting increasing questions, certainly amongst buyers, about what the landscape looks like for the next couple of years.

When Would We See Interest Rates Rise?

Interest rates fundamentally are a lever to either stimulate or slow down an economy. We are at record lows at the moment because of the consequences of the Global Financial Crisis that has had significant effects around the world. They are down at these historically lower settings to try and stimulate the economy, and particularly generate more jobs to get unemployment lower. Designed to get us out and spend money and pump the economy.

What would make the Reserve Bank want to increase interest rates is inflation getting to the upper level of their comfort zone. Their comfort zone is inflation between 2 – 3%. Well, for the first time in quite some time inflation has ticked up. Prior to that it had been dropping for quite some time in this low growth economy, but as well all know the cost of living has been rising, particularly around energy costs and also because of household costs including the rising interest payments.

A real concerning feature in the economy at the moment is that inflation is now outpacing wages growth and this is going to lead to real issues. It will certainly restrict the Reserve Bank from putting up interest rates, but I think the Government will be looking to see how they can stimulate some wages growth, which in turn leads to higher inflation.

The Reserve Bank will also be watching housing activity closely. They do not want to see a housing bubble and that is starting to be evident in many parts of Sydney and Melbourne, but very little signs of it elsewhere in the country. A bit of a juggling act on this front.

They also have an eye on the international scene. As the US raises their interest rates there will be a shift of money out of countries like Australia to capitalise on higher interest rates in the US, and so we are likely to see the Australian dollar fall and that will feed through to inflation. This is likely to put some upward pressure on interest rates.

Why the RBA Will Keep Interest Rates on Hold

It certainly says for me that rates will not be falling unless there is a significant slowdown in the Australian economy; rising unemployment or a massive economic jolt probably triggered from overseas. The most likely scenario is that we will continue in the pattern we are, with interest rates on hold for the foreseeable future. But as the Reserve Bank watches all those features I mentioned above, we can expect the official rate to rise somewhere perhaps later this year.

With a pretty positive report on our economy by the International Monetary Fund, and some evidence that our economy is really starting to pick up, it is more than likely we will start to see rises in interest rates later this year.

Once again, for those looking to buy real estate, interest rates play such a significant factor. If you are borrowing money there has never been a better time than now. Making a move to lock in great interest rates will give you benefits for many years to come and this opportunity should not be missed.

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Gold Coast Integrated Resort Plans To Open Queensland’s First Ever International Beach Club

April 13, 2017,

The Gold Coast could further cement itself as Australia’s favourite tourist playground with the addition of the city’s first international Beach Club which will open as part of the Gold Coast Integrated Resort (GCIR).

The 6,000m2+ open-plan Beach Club, open to both locals and visitors, will be able to host functions and events for more than 3000 guests, featuring a variety of restaurants and cafes including a rooftop lounge and nightclub, terraced gardens and lawns, outdoor pool and beach area, offering a mix of family-friendly areas and VIP cabanas and lounges.

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[Related article: Take A Look Inside The New Gold Coast]

ASF Consortium Development Director Dean LaVigne said that bringing a Beach Club that meshes world-class entertainment, dining, music and art to the Gold Coast adds a unique and luxurious layer of entertainment options to the city.

“The Beach Club will be just one of the leisure and entertainment anchors of the GCIR and will rival that of other high-end Beach Club venues around the globe,” he said.

“It hosts an array of restaurants and bars and offers an exciting year round entertainment program of celebrations, performances and exhibitions.”

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[Related article: New Design Detail Revealed For Gold Coast Integrated Resort]

Mr LaVigne confirmed ASF is currently negotiating with a major international Beach Club brand to run and operate the venue, ensuring the Gold Coast entices a new wave of international guest DJs, live performers and musicians that the region would not normally attract.

“International Beach Club brands like Nikki Beach, Ku De Ta, Blue Marlin and Purobeach know how to successfully deliver and manage world-class destinations that draw signature chefs, local and international DJs and musicians, whilst also staying true to the local culture and ambience of the location,” Mr LaVigne said.

“It also provides a range of employment opportunities and is expected to provide at least 300 jobs for the region, once it is fully operational,” he said.

In another first, Mr LaVigne confirmed the Beach Club will be the only Integrated Resort Development (IRD) in the world with a Beach Club, ensuring it is a major tourism drawcard in its own right.

“To be the first IRD with a Beach Club is reflective not only of our premier location but our commitment to build a world-class IRD with a range of attractions and experiences for people from all walks of life,” he said.

The Beach Club will be home to a variety of dining offerings with family-friendly breakfast, lunch and dinner options, a tapas restaurant and bar and an adults-only open-air rooftop lounge and nightclub that comes alive at sunset.

“The Gold Coast boasts almost 300 days of sunshine a year, so it’s the perfect location for a Beach Club; the design celebrates the region’s unrivalled sub-tropical climate by including an infinity-edge pool, a large beach and an open-air rooftop lounge with ocean and sunset views,” said Mr LaVigne.

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[Related article: Latest Plans Revealed: ASF Unveils $3 Billion Resort At Southern Spit]

“The design reflects the world’s most iconic and sought-after experiences; from Ibizan sunsets, the crystal waters of the Mediterranean, the enviable Miami Beach lifestyle and the international fusion of Bali; the Gold Coast’s international Beach Club is set to become the next tourism hotspot in Queensland.

“It includes contemporary offerings for locals and visitors of all ages to enjoy by incorporating lifestyle experiences that fuse international food, culture and entertainment, while also showcasing the Gold Coast’s natural environment,” he said.

Mr LaVigne said locals and visitors can come to the Beach Club to enjoy a relaxed day at the beach but also have the option to tap into the entertainment and dining options both within the Beach Club, but also located throughout the GCIR.

In true Beach Club style, there will be poolside sun lounges, beachside cabanas and shaded day beds which will be able to be hired throughout the day or night.

“We are looking forward to bringing the Beach Club concept and its unrivalled entertainment, dining and recreational offerings as part of an IRD to the Gold Coast,” Mr LaVigne said.

The Gold Coast Integrated Resort (GCIR) is an estimated $3 billion project encompassing the Gold Coast’s largest tourism project in decades, providing a new global waterfront destination.

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[Related article: 13,000+ New Jobs And Training Opportunities Provided By Gold Coast Resort]

The architectural design was created to revitalise unused public space and create space for experiences that connect and bring locals together.

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The major design features of the GCIR include:

  • Waterfront Square – semi-covered waterfront area to house year-round entertainment;
  • Amphitheatre – a 1,200 public seat waterfront amphitheatre with tiered seating along the water’s edge for outdoor concerts and performances;
  • Sub-tropical gardens – a sub-tropical canopy, skywalk and gardens, waterfalls, terrace and rooftop gardens;
  • Public open space – over 20,000m2 of elevated gardens, boardwalks, skywalks, parks with outdoor cinema and beaches;
  • Piers and jetties – for fishing, boat and jet ski moorings and waterfront dining.

Informed by community input, the 9200m2 Waterfront Square will be the heart of the GCIR. The design is focused on creating a dynamic city centre for community gatherings such as sporting events, water-based performances, theatre, live music, public art, picnicking and holiday celebrations.

Located on a site less than 3% of The Spit, the project unlocks an unused piece of land between Sea World and the Gold Coast Fisherman’s Co-operative. It creates a new waterfront precinct accessible to locals and visitors alike.

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Take A Look Inside The New Gold Coast

March 17, 2017,

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The Gold Coast Integrated Resort (GCIR) is an estimated $3 billion project encompassing the Gold Coast’s largest tourism project in decades, providing a new global waterfront destination.

The project features a world-class casino, iconic waterfront piazza, multiple five and six star hotels, signature restaurants, theatres, shows and entertainment, luxury and boutique retail precincts, serviced residences and conference facilities.

Worth an estimated $3 billion and located on a site less than 3% of The Spit, the project unlocks an unused piece of land between Sea World and the Gold Coast Fisherman’s Co-operative. It creates a new waterfront precinct accessible to locals and visitors alike.

The Department of State Development has announced commencement of two separate public consultation processes for the The Spit Parklands and ASF’s revised proposal for the Gold Coast Integrated Resort. Consultation will include the City of Gold Coast, stakeholder groups and the wider community.

Independent consultation specialists will lead the public consultation process, focused on two separate parts:

  1. Parkland Rejuvenation (The Spit)
  • Revitalisation of the 140 hectares of coastal parkland The Spit.
  1. ASF’s Revised Proposal
  • The new concept plans for the Gold Coast Integrated Resort, released in December 2016.

Both consultation processes are being run independently from ASF, however ASF remains committed to continue to share project information as it becomes available and encourage the community to learn more about the Gold Coast Integrated Resort.

Since early 2014, ASF has been working with Queensland Government, City of Gold Coast, key stakeholders and the community, seeking their input and feedback about the Project.

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The project will reinvigorate The Spit and attract an estimated 1.5 million additional tourists each year. It will grow the tourism market, meaning significant new tourists coming to the Gold Coast.

Over 13,000 new jobs will be created during the construction and operation of the project. This means thousands of jobs for the local community. With construction likely to occur after the Commonwealth Games, this means local jobs can be retained.

Worth an estimated $3 billion, the Gold Coast Integrated Resort will provide an immediate and ongoing investment into the Gold Coast’s future, with benefits flowing across Queensland.

What Is An Integrated Resort?

Integrated resorts are high-quality mixed-use destinations offering multiple world-class attractions, including hotels, restaurants, retail, convention facilities and entertainment. Gaming is only a small part of the attraction at the Gold Coast Integrated Resort and less than 5% of the gross floor area. Projects of this type are designed to cater to all age groups, nationalities and degrees of spend. They transform cities, providing many long-term employment benefits and significant infrastructure dividends for the community.

Project Facts

  1. AN IMPORTANT PIECE OF TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE

The Gold Coast Integrated Resort provides a new global tourism destination on the Southern Spit, elevating the Gold Coast’s status and tourism appeal on the world stage.

  1. AN INTEGRATED RESORT IS MUCH MORE THAN A CASINO

The project features a world-class casino, iconic waterfront piazza, multiple five and six star hotels, signature restaurants, theatres, shows and entertainment, luxury and boutique retail precincts, serviced residences and conference facilities.

  1. THOUSANDS OF JOBS FOR THE LOCAL COMMUNITY

Over 13,000 new jobs will be created during the construction and operation of the project, including over 4,100 construction-based jobs, during the proposed five-year delivery phase, and a further 9,100 jobs once the site is fully operational. This means thousands of jobs for the local community. With construction likely to occur after the 2018 Commonwealth Games, this ensures local jobs can be retained.

  1. $3 BILLION WILL BE INVESTED INTO THE GOLD COAST’S FUTURE

Worth an estimated $3 billion, the Gold Coast Integrated Resort will provide an immediate and ongoing investment into the Gold Coast’s future, with benefits flowing across Queensland.

  1. A PROJECTED 1.5 MILLION ADDITIONAL TOURISTS MEANS MORE BUSINESS FOR EVERYONE

The project will reinvigorate The Spit and attract an estimated 1.5 million additional tourists each year. More tourists means more flights needed to the Gold Coast, more visits to Gold Coast attractions and more business for local operators.

  1. RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES ON THE BROADWATER WILL NOT BE IMPACTED

Feedback from the community and key stakeholders has shaped and informed the latest concept plan. This includes minimal development of The Broadwater and no impact on current recreational activities.

  1. THIS PROJECT NO LONGER INCLUDES A CRUISE SHIP TERMINAL

A cruise ship terminal is no longer part of project and is not included in the updated concept plan. The City of Gold Coast is independently exploring other options.

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  1. THIS PROJECT INCLUDES ITS OWN TRAFFIC SOLUTION FOR THE SPIT

ASF has developed a Traffic and Transport Management Plan for The Spit that will support the project, address traffic congestion and deliver legacy infrastructure for the Gold Coast. Traffic modelling has future-proofed this solution, which is scalable and flexible to support future growth of the City. Core infrastructure will be funded by the project.

  1. IT UNLOCKS AN UNUSED PIECE OF LAND

Located on a site less than 3% of The Spit, the internationally acclaimed tourism destination will be accessible to everyone. It opens up a new waterfront destination to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

  1. IT UNLOCKS THE POTENTIAL OF THE SOUTHPORT CBD

The project provides a catalyst to grow the Southport CBD, connecting The Spit and Southport, whilst embracing the Broadwater. It will deliver significant business and employment opportunities.

Gold Coast Job Creation

Independent property advisory MacroPlan Dimasi assessed the true contribution of the GCIR net job creation based on the current concept plan. MacroPlan Dimasi estimate the GCIR will generate over 13,000 new jobs, including over 4,100 construction based jobs, during the proposed five-year delivery stage, and a further 9,100 jobs once the site is fully operational. Their assessment also revealed the GCIR development will generate thousands of permanent jobs and long term employment pathways, whilst stimulating training, education and upskilling opportunities for young Queenslanders.

The substantial increase in new jobs represents over 75% of the Gold Coast unemployment rate, which at September 2016, was 17,500 individuals. This data, in addition to ASF’s commitment to comply with the State’s local content policies, will boost local economic growth on the Gold Coast, keep skilled workers in the region and provide thousands of long term employment opportunities for the local workforce.

The GCIR represents a substantial and long-term employment hub for the Gold Coast and South East Queensland. The first stage of construction will likely commence following the Commonwealth Games in 2018. The timing enables ongoing momentum for the Gold Coast and offers immediate employment opportunities for a number of construction workers transitioning from the Commonwealth Games to the GCIR development. This approach supports local workers to remain and participate in the community. Employment opportunities are set to peak once the GCIR is fully operational. An estimated 9,100 new jobs and employment opportunities will be created upon project completion, with almost 50 per cent of those jobs outside the GCIR, including the surrounding Southport area.

 

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New Hope island shopping centre

March 15, 2017,

Hope island is set to gain a town center more than a decade after the retail and dining precinct was first mooted.

The commercial hub is to be developed by 31- year – old Lennon Lin who has bought the center site from receivers for $14.3 million and hopes to have the precinct operating by July next year.

Mr.Lin, who launched a property career in Brisbane in 2015, hopes to start construction of the center by July.

It will be anchored by Woolworths and Aldi supermarkets and could feature close to 30 other retail outlets, including restaurants.

Mr. Lin said he hoped improvements could be made to the development approval that was gained for the hub’s 2.5ha site last year.

The approval allows for a two-storey center that has almost 10,000 sq m of floorspace.

“We intend to fully enclose and air-condition the precinct, making it unique among Hope Island centers.” he said.

The town center site has been in the hands of receivers since companies associated with developer John Fish encountered problems during the global financial crisis.

The debt on the site, at 00 Broadwater Ave, is held by Goldman Sachs.

Mr. Lin, his family, and an associate are buying the land via company Austin Property Development in a deal that settles at the end of this month.

They intend to launch a leasing campaign for tenancies within weeks.

Mr. Lin, who arrived in Australia from Taiwan as an eight-year-old, said the venture makes his retail debut.

For the past two years, he has been involved with the development of student accommodation facilities and other housing projects in Brisbane.

“I have had a holiday house at Hope Island for three or four years and always have felt there aren’t enough shops and restaurants,” Mr. Lin said.

“what we will build will be truly worthy of the area.”

Mr. Lin said his ambitions on Hope Island do not rest solely with the town center project, which will be a long-term investment.

“There is a site across the road in Marina Quays Bvd that we would like to buy,” he said.

“It is mooted for hundreds of apartments and we’d like to put retail under the buildings and turn the area into somewhere with an atmosphere like that of James St in Brisbane.”

That near 3.3ha site, which has a 200-meter frontage to Hope Island canal, has been put to market by reveivers to an entity linked to Mr. Fish.

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Victorian Government scraps stamp duty saving for off the plan investors

The Victorian Government has recently announced a range of initiatives aimed at making housing more affordable for first-home buyers. Stamp duty will undergo major reform, with two significant changes set to affect the off the planning industry.

Up until now, stamp duty savings have been a huge incentive for investors and owner-occupiers to buy property off the plan. However, under the new changes, first-home buyers of any property under $600,000 will no longer face stamp duty charges.

Furthermore, the existing stamp duty savings for investors of off the plan will be abolished. Only buyers who intend to live in the property or are first-home buyers will benefit from the tax concession.

The move is a blow to the off the planning industry in Victoria, with many expecting it will negatively impact the market. Victoria is one of the only states in Australia that offered stamp duty savings on off the plan projects, which has made it a popular option amongst both local and international investors.

While the state government says the removal of the changes will level the playing field for first home buyers, the Urban Development Institute of Australia lobby group said it would reduce investment and the supply of new homes. They argue that without the tax break investors would look to other asset classes, reducing demand for new projects.

Accounting firm KPMG’s state taxes partner Michelle Bennett agreed, telling the AFR the move could have negative consequences for the property market. “There are risks in reducing off-the-plan concessions for investors, as it could put the brakes on new residential development,” Ms. Bennett said.

The changes won’t be retroactive, only affecting buyers who sign a contract after the 1st of July 2017. Whilst the changes will certainly have an impact on the VIC market, it only puts it in line with other Australian states that do not offer stamp duty concessions for investors. Regardless, savvy agents would do well to get their clients into a contract before June 30 to ensure they can make the most of the stamp duty savings while they last.

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6 Factors That Drive Residential Property Markets In Australia

March 1, 2017,

 

Australia’s love affair with property is simply undisputed. Whether it is around the suburban ‘barbie or in the boardrooms of Circular Quay, we just can’t get enough.

We’ve distilled it down to six major areas to watch:

1. Population Growth

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Population Clock, Australia’s population topped 24.3 million in 2016. Our population growth, which equates to an increase of one person every 1 minute and 24 seconds, is by far the most significant factor in growing property values.

So what do we need to know about populations to better understand how they are growing and why this is important for property markets?

Whether you’re looking at the whole nation or a regional town, the principal for determining the characteristics of a changing population are the same.

Broadly speaking, there are three main factors at play:

  • Net Interstate Migration (NIM) – the net gain or loss of population through the movement of people from one state or territory of usual residence to another.
  • Net Overseas Migration (NOM) – the net gain or loss of population through immigration to Australia and emigration from Australia.
  • Rate of Natural Increase (RNI) – the net gain or loss of population through the crude birth rate minus the crude death rate.

Something else to consider… Australia has one of the highest population growth rates of the developed world (approximately 1.4% in 2016) which equated to over 330,000 new people in the year to June 30 , 2016.

And one last point, before I get pulled up by the demographers out there… Net Interstate Migration (NIM) is only relevant when looking at a particular state’s population, as opposed to the country as a whole!

2. Job Creation

It’s pretty hard to buy a house without a job, so it is no surprise that being employed, and more specifically, job creation, is a key factor in driving property markets.

We hear plenty of chatter about interest rates being a key driver of home values, which is partly true. However if this was the case entirely, then we would would have seen a similar level of growth in property values across the country.

Between December 2008 and September 2015, more than two thirds (66.9%) of employment growth has taken place in Sydney and Melbourne which have been the major growth centres when it comes to property values. Data research guru Cameron Kusher of CoreLogic RP Data gave his take on the data, believing that home ownership is “generally underpinned by secure employment”.

“Low interest rates have been a key driver for recent growth in home values; however, growth in dwelling values has been narrowly based geographically whereas interest rates are the same across the country. Given this, there is clearly more to current housing conditions than low interest rates with employment as the key driver,” Kusher said.

3. Demographics

Every five years, the Australian Government conducts the National Census which is a comprehensive survey that measures the various character traits of the Australian population. The Census tells us everything we need to know about the demographic composition in Australia, such as:

  • Age Composition – the average and distributed age of the Australian population.
  • Household Size – the average number of occupants within a household.
  • Household Income – the average weekly income derived from employment or business.
  • Home Ownership – whether people own their home or rent it, and whether they have a mortgage.
  • Ethnicity – the ethnic composition of a particular household.
  • Dependency – whether a household is a single person, couple or family.
  • Occupation – the type of employment of a particular individual or household, such as professional, technical, healthcare or construction.

Why is this important? Well, areas with a younger age composition that is of an Asian ethnic persuasion are more likely to prefer apartment stock, while as young families on an average household income are more likely to prefer traditional house and land offerings in the suburbs.

The demographic composition of an area – what it currently is – combined with the changes in area – what it is becoming – will drive demand and therefore property prices in a particular area.

While engaging a demographer to undertake this analysis is an expensive exercise, you can derive a basic understanding by checking out Domain’s Suburb Profiles here.

4. Infrastructure

As Australian cities grow in population, our governments have a growing requirement to supply new infrastructure that supports our way of life and social and economic systems. Beyond this, major infrastructure investments support significant job creation across both ‘white collar’ (e.g. office workers) and ‘blue collar’ (e.g. construction workers) industries.

The current infrastructure boom in Sydney is a prime example of this. According to the Prime Minister’s office, an expected 9,000 jobs will be created by the construction of the Western Sydney Airport by the early 2030s and a further 60,000 jobs in the coming decades.

These jobs will be in aviation related services, but also in sectors like security, education and training, catering, retail, warehousing, administration, communications and ICT. Construction of the airport will generate $1.9 billion for the local economy, with a further $400 million across the rest of Sydney.

So why is this important? Jobs drive housing markets!

Infrastructure is a broad terms that can also include:

  • Transport Infrastructure -Airports, highways, tunnels, rail, bus, ferries and trams.
  • Health Infrastructure – Hospitals, research and training centres, medical centres.
  • Education Infrastructure – Schools, universities, colleges, training institutes.
  • Social & Religious Infrastructure – Churches, mosques, temples, community halls.
  • Environmental Infrastructure – Parks, reserves, green corridors, new bikeways.

Beyond the creation of jobs, new infrastructure projects also make life more enjoyable…once they’re completed!

5. New Residential Supply

There is much talk at the moment about a looming oversupply of residential apartments across the major capital cities of Australia.

Is this true? In some cities, in some suburbs and in some particular areas, yes – more than likely. However, to say that Australia is oversupplied is a massive generalisation.

When sizing up a particular property market, there are factors that create housing demand (population growth, job creation, demographic change) and there are the factors that contribute to new supply.

To effectively determine the supply side, it is important to understand the difference between housing types and the various stages of housing supply as the notion of a ‘property market’ is too general; there are many sub-markets, such as houses, townhouses and apartments.

Whilst there is no hard and fast rule, new housing supply can broken down into the following stages:

  • Development Applications – This is the number of dwellings lodged with a local authority. When lodging an application, there is no guarantee that a developer will actually start construction. For example, they will still need to pre-sell the project, procure construction funding, appoint a builder and deliver the project. In short, applications don’t automatically equate to houses!
  • Building Approvals – Similar to applications, approvals are simply a measure of development applications that have been approved by a local authority. The same challenges (above) still apply.
  • Construction Commencements – This is the real deal! When considering supply, construction commencements are the number to watch as this is what is literally under construction and (almost) guaranteed to be completed.
  • Completions and / or Settlements – Building completions and / or settlements is a measure of the new housing supply that has been approved, construction and recently completed.

6. Lifestyle And Amenity

According to REA Group Chief Economist Nerida Conisbee, suburbs with shops, transport and schools rank as the most in-demand searches on realestate.com.au – Australia’s most frequented online property portal.

Why? Because it’s important! Lifestyle is arguably the most important factor when considering a property. Suburbs that offer existing retail, such as shopping centres, supermarkets, cinemas and coffee shops, consistently perform better than suburbs that don’t.

Conclusion

Property markets are complex beasts that are impacted by many different factors. In light of this complexity, understanding and respecting the fundamentals of supply and demand that underlie any economic system is ever more important in complex property markets.

On the demand-side, population growth and job creation tell us a story about the quantity of people entering a particular market, while demographics gives us a sense of the quality of who, where, what, why and how they are living their lives

On the supply-side, we’re able to see what is coming on the horizon by watching the new residential supply metrics to better determine whether there will be an over-supply or under-supply in the years to come.

And finally, lifestyle factors – such as retail, liveability, access to transport and jobs, health and education infrastructure – and finally, affordability, play into the equation.

In spite of all the complexities, investing for the long-term in the fundamentals of a property market is the best way to ensure success in property.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Australia’s 2017 Market Outlook: CBRE

February 22, 2017,

Australia’s south east property markets will continue to outperform in 2017, producing the strongest rental growth and the highest total returns according to CBRE’s recently released Australia Market Outlook report.

CBRE Head of Research Stephen McNabb said property fundamentals were strongest in the office sector – particularly in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, given the outlook for net effective rent growth.

“The distinguishing factor is the outlook for rent growth of circa 8% in Sydney and Melbourne in the next three years,” Mr McNabb said.

The report highlighted increasing headwinds in the retail sector, with only modest rental growth of between 1%-2% forecast across most retail categories.

It also noted that international retailers were continuing to target Australia and will have the capacity to absorb much of the space being made available by the closure of domestic retail brands.

“According to our retail brand database, more than 90 existing international retailers are looking to roll out stores across Australia over the next five years and another 50+ brands are looking at launching their first flagship store,” Mr McNabb said.

“Over the next five years, up to 1.2 million square metres of retail stock will be sought by international retailers, which will almost absorb the total supply pipeline and help fill space that may be vacated by discount department stores and other retail incumbents.”

The report forecasted lower supply levels in 2017 will support rental growth, particularly in east coast markets where demand remains high.

Super prime rents were forecasted to increase by 1.5% across Australia – with Sydney expected to deliver the strongest growth at 2% and Perth expected to be the weakest capital city market, with rents tipped to decline by 3%.

The report also highlighted that as e-commerce becomes an increasingly prevalent part of the logistics sector, many developers were seeking to future proof assets to meet changing tenant needs.

“A number of new developments are being built with increased ceiling heights and tensile strength in flooring to ensure they are able to handle a high turnover of consumer goods, while older warehouses at the city fringe are being retrofitted to service last mile delivery,” Mr McNabb said.

“Automation is also fast becoming an important part of design considerations, with newer facilities being built accommodate the power requirements associated with robotics and 24 hour operations. Tenants are also increasingly seeking increased amenity with some logistics developments featuring child care, high quality cafes and access to public transport.”

In the hotel sector, developers were expected to show particular interest in the Cairns and Gold Coast markets and that there will be a shift towards the great tailoring of guest experiences such as Accor’s Mama Shelter and IHG’s EVEN Hotels.

“In order to stand out from the crowed, operators were offering unique experiences to pique interest and capture market share, particularly from the millennial generation, and this will drive further the rollout of these lifestyle brands,” Mr McNabb said.

Across all sectors, the report highlighted that the rate of yield compression for prime assets slowed in 2016, with the cycle expected to end in the second half of 2017.

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Underground Infrastructure:Connecting The Property Developments Brisbane Creates

February 10, 2017,

As a result of its growing list of property developments Brisbane for decades was facing an ever-present challenge, and as its population continued to increase, this challenge continued to grow more prevalent.

Traffic and congestion

Brisbane was growing and with its increasing population ultimately the number of cars on the road multiplied greatly. Trips to and through the city were only possible if planned hours in advance.

During the continuous crusade against heavy road congestion, it seemed one of the key approaches was to look underground. Major tunnels, the likes of which had never been seen in (or under) Brisbane, were constructed to alleviate the growing number of vehicles that were coming to a standstill above ground.

Billions of dollars have gone into Brisbane’s tunnel systems and now tens of thousands of vehicles use them every day. The tunnel routes have steadily become a more relied-upon network of roads that provide direct access for drivers to some of Brisbane’s key facilities and newest developments.

Here are some examples of Brisbane’s underground highway.

Clem Jones Tunnel (Clem 7)

The Clem Jones Tunnel (Clem 7) was delivered as a ‘public private partnership’, beginning in 2006 and reaching completion in 2010.

The tunnel consists of 308,000 tonnes of concrete tiles, 192 kilometres of electrical cable, 120 jet fans, 166 emergency phones and about 2,000 lights.

Its total length is about 6.8 kilometres and connects to major roads including:

  • Airportlink M7 tunnel
  • Lutwyche Road, Bowen Hills
  • Inner City Bypass, Bowen Hills
  • Pacific Motorway, Woolloongabba
  • Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba
  • Shafston Avenue, Kangaroo Point

The Clem 7’s biggest selling point is how it allows drivers to travel 60 metres underground at a speed of 80 kilometres per hour from Brisbane’s inner north to the southern and eastern suburbs, bypassing the Brisbane CBD. This bypass gives drivers the opportunity to avoid about 24 different sets of traffic lights.

The man behind the name

The Clem 7 was named after Clem Jones AO (1918 – 2007), who was Brisbane’s longest serving Lord Mayor, holding the title for 14 years. Jones’ professional life began in the development industry, including many property developments in Brisbane, and he used this know-how during his time as Mayor.

In the 1960’s he paved dirt roads and created new ones, helped to sewer previously unsewered suburbs and developed city gardens, sporting fields and swimming pools.

Not all smooth sailing for the Clem…

In its early days, the Clem 7 struggled to find the mass patronage from commuters that the Government expected. Some drivers found the tunnel’s exits hard to navigate while also finding problems with merging. Others objected to what was considered an extremely high toll charge.

Meanwhile, at an administration level, Brisbane officials in charge of the project were blamed for incorrectly projecting the growth of cars on the road, and building the tunnel on a Sydney or Melbourne model rather than thinking of what Brisbane drivers wanted.

Rivercity Motorway Group, the group who built the Clem 7, spent billions on the project and were barely receiving a return on investment. In 2010, they went into receivership and the deed to the Clem 7 went to Queensland Motorways, who will now retain the right to toll the CLEM7 for a 38-year concession period before handing over the reins to Brisbane City Council.

Despite the drawbacks, the Clem 7 soon settled into a rhythm in Brisbane, and now some of Brisbane’s major destinations are easily accessible via this tunnel, like the Brisbane Airport, major shopping centres, The Royal Brisbane Hospital, and the RNA Showgrounds.

For non-users, the Clem7 boasts to have removed significant traffic from existing city roads, which, apparently, has in turn improved air quality in the city.

Brisbane Airport Link Tunnel

The AirportlinkM7 is a 6.7 kilometre road and tunnel system that connects the Clem 7 and  Legacy Way tunnels (via the Inner City Bypass) to the Brisbane Airport and Australia TradeCoast precinct. The tunnel also connects to the northern arterials of Gympie and Stafford Roads.

According to Go Via, using the AirportlinkM7 allows commuters to avoid up to 14 sets of traffic lights and reduce travel time by up to 88%.

AirportlinkM7 boasts the most up-to-date traffic technology in Australia, which is used at each entrance at Bowen Hills, Kedron and Toombul. Such technology includes a ‘real time’ travel sign showing the exact number of minutes it will take a driver and their vehicle to make it through the tunnel.

Legacy Way

Legacy Way is a 4.6 kilometre tunnel that connects the Western Freeway at Toowong with the Inner City Bypass (ICB) at Kelvin Grove. Designed and constructed by Transcity, an integrated team comprising of companies BMD Constructions, Ghella and Acciona, Legacy Way began in 2011 and was opened to traffic in 2015.

It’s biggest selling point is how it provides motorists with a four-minute journey – at 80 kilometres per hour – between the Western Freeway and the ICB, and aims to reduce traffic congestion on alternative routes such as Milton Road and Coronation Drive. Using Legacy Way also allows motorists to avoid seven sets of traffic lights and other possible delays such as major roundabouts and school zones.

The tunnel consists of two separate parallel road tunnels, each with two lanes of traffic, a ventilation system to manage air quality and safety systems like emergency exits and fire protection and monitoring systems.

Thanks to a Federal Government commitment of $500 million, Legacy Way became Brisbane City Council’s latest non property development built to enhance the sustainability of the area.

Supporting the ‘Legacy’

Legacy Way was named in honour of the men and women who have served in the Australian Defence Force and the families they left behind. Its name refers to the ‘Legacy’ charity, an organisation run by volunteers since 1923 that provides services to Australian families suffering financially or socially during or after defence force service.

One cent for every toll collected from vehicles entering Legacy way is donated to the charity.

TransApex

Legacy Way, as well as the Clem 7 and the Airport Link Tunnel is part of the TransApex plan, Council’s long term plan to relieve congestion on Brisbane’s arterial roads and improve cross-city connectivity. Council hopes to see more than 120,000 vehicle movements removed from Brisbane’s surface roads each day, and to achieve that goal they have worked to deliver $10 billion in infrastructure projects over the past ten years.

 

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4 Reasons To Capitalise On Asian Demand For Real Estate Before 2017

January 11, 2017,

It’s no secret that Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian buyers remain attracted the Australian property market because of our stable government, world-renowned schools, lifestyle plus the opportunity to grow businesses for some. These fundamentals remain despite the challenges imposed this year by greater financing restrictions and increased taxes for foreign buyers of property.

With 2017 fast approaching, the New Year is a time to reflect – what worked, what didn’t and what to prioritise to ensure a successful year ahead. In the property industry, many developers are probably considering waiting until the first quarter of 2017 to launch their new projects to offshore channels and buyers.

There’s no time to waste. If developers are looking to tap into the huge Asian buyer market, the time to formulate relationships, educate and condition the market is now – before the Christmas/new Year break.

Here are some things to consider in regards to engaging the Asian market everyone is chasing and the benefits associated with projects going live now, before getting too far into the New Year.

  1. The Asian Market Doesn’t Sleep Over The Christmas Break

With no official holidays in China unlike Australia, the Asian buyer market is alive and kicking during Christmas and the first half of January. Friends, family and colleagues discussing what and where to buy property is how interest is generated in particular projects and momentum builds. You want your brand and projects to be exposed to the market so you’re part of those conversations, while the topic is hot in the lead up to Chinese New Year.

Our General Manager Asia, Karen Chau, says “the contrast between the Australian and Chinese property marketplaces at this time of year is dramatic.

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“In Australia we are used to winding down from mid December with many people on holiday for most of January.

“Here in Shanghai and Beijing, it’s the opposite. Our team is flat out keeping up with the level of enquiry we have from our network partners seeking new properties to fill their clients’ briefs”

  1. Numbers On Your Side

Whilst we see increasing enquiry from Malaysian and Indonesian buyers, Chinese buyers are still the leaders in the purchase of international property. According to FIRB’s latest annual report, the value of approvals for foreign investment in Australian real estate increased 75 per cent last financial year to $61 billion, with Chinese accounting for around two-thirds of applications, so exposure to these cashed-up Chinese buyers is critical.

If you’re considering delaying a project’s launch to China until February or March 2017, why risk missing out on potential buyers who have committed to projects they’ve already been shown? This side of Christmas and January, due to less competition, the numbers are still likely to be on your side.

  1. Capitalise On An Earlier Chinese New Year

This year marks the earliest Chinese New Year for the past five years on January 28 , 2017.

The New Year is the most important annually recurring festival for people of Chinese ancestry all over the world. It’s been celebrated for 1,000 years – possibly much longer – and the traditions involved are deeply ingrained in Chinese culture.

For many, it’s a religious holiday, full of prayers, offerings and other acts of devotion. Real estate purchases are also top of mind for many people seeking new homes, fresh starts or investments. It is also known as ‘Golden Week’ by property professionals for this reason, given so many Chinese make purchase decisions during this time.

The months leading up to the Chinese holiday are an extremely busy time for Chinese brokers, trying to educate their clients and close deals before the break. However, after the holidays usually comes chaos from the buying side and many projects are vying for a piece of that action. So, the earlier your project can engage the end buyers, the better your chances are at closing deals.

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  1. The Year Of The Rooster

2017 marks the Year of the Rooster in China. The Rooster is said to be the most motivated animal in the Chinese zodiac, looking to make advancements in their life – both personal and professional.

Historically, the Rooster is also the epitome of loyalty and punctuality. For ancestors who had no alarm clocks, the crowing was significant, as it could awaken people to get up and start to work – symbolic of developers who may need a jump start in launching their project and generating success with Asian buyers.

 

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Gold Coast’s Palm Beach booming with development, eateries and celebrities

PALM Beach is the new Gold Coast hot spot with the southern Gold Coast suburb throwing off its old and stuffy reputation to become a funky and edgy suburb.

New mansions, developments restaurants and people are flowing into the suburb which has become a celebrity spotting hotspot as popular eateries draw in a younger crowd.

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Palm Beach from the air.

As development giant Palm Beach push ahead with its $136 million Magnoli Residences development on the suburb’s former caravan park site, other older buildings are being targeted for a refresh.

Among those is two residential properties on the corner of the Gold Coast Highway and Ninth Ave which are set to be replaced by a large three-storey high-end mansion with five bedrooms spread across two dwellings.

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An artist impression of a large two-dwelling building proposed for the Gold Coast Highway at Palm Beach

The project, which includes a swimming pool and rooftop deck, has been put forward by Clint and Brooke Colless, is the subject of a development application submitted to the council this week.

And development industry figures say it is just the beginning, with the light rail’s third stage likely to run through central Palm Beach, something which would drastically alter the suburb central business district.

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Artist impression of a large two-dwelling building proposed for the Gold Coast Highway at Palm Beach

Area councillor Daphne McDonald said development of Palm Beach needed to be considered carefully to prevent damaging what made it popular in the first place.

She said Palm Beach was attractive to both locals and holiday-makers because of its points of difference from the traditional Glitter Strip locations.

“It is not the razzmatazz of Surfers Paradise and not as busy as Broadbeach but it is not far away from them either,” she said.

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Councillor Daphne McDonald says Palm Beach is popular with a variety of demographics. Photo: Jerad Williams

“We need to balance good development with services and you don’t want to destroy what you came to enjoy.

“There are lot of new business an restaurants coming here as well as a nice mixture of young people coming in too.”

Among the new businesses which have moved in during the past year is Hendrixx Espresso which opened in October.

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Staff at Hendrixx Espresso enjoyed a visit from Mick Fanning and new buddy US actor John C. Reilly. Picture: Mark “Spike” Neumann

It has already become a celebrity hotspot, with Thor star Mark Ruffalo, King Kong star John C Reilly and surfing superstar Mick Fanning all stopping in to enjoy coffee.

Operator Mark Neumann said Palm Beach was a “sleeping giant” which was waking up.

“It has changed massively as the land prices have started going up and there is a lot of new businesses moving,” he said.

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Mark “Spike” Neumann posted this pic of himself and Mark ‘The Hulk’ Ruffalo at Hendrixx Espresso.

“It has benne a sleeping giant between the highways but it is certainly waking up.

“Palm Beach is a lot like Main Beach was in the 1980s and it has that funky feel about it.”

It comes just months after an application was made for a large-scale building which would include both businesses and residential areas.

The two-storey cafe and four-bedroom apartment proposed for Palm Beach’s Sixth Ave is currently being considered by council officers.

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Palm Beach — its so hot right now.

Palm Beach is the Aussie dream, for me it evokes a lifestyle that is quickly being lost but in ‘Palmie’ you still get that cruiser, casual, beachside lifestyle that Aussies love and some people can only dream of now,” she said.

“ People have realised that this is one of the last suburbs on the coast where you can get this amazing mix of lifestyle and location, with the airport only 10-15 minutes away so if you get a hankering for a dose of ‘big city’ you can hop a flight.”

 

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Business is back to a buzz in one of the Gold Coast’s stylish suburbs

OOZING luxury, Main Beach is an affluent, beachside suburb on the Gold Coast packed with up-market eateries and grand boutiques.

Socialites are often seen wandering down Tedder Ave or lunching at the yacht club while at the glimmering Palazzo Versace Hotel, celebrities are checking in. Previous guests have included Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Beyonce and Johnny Depp.

Gold Coast fashion stylist Elizabeth McMahon describes the area as a stylist’s haven.

“If I need an outfit I can just leave my apartment and walk downstairs to find something, most of the shops stock international luxury brands and well-known Australian brands so it is never hard to find something I really like,” she says.

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“Occasionally I do have fashion high teas at my apartment, and we showcase clothing from the local stores on Tedder Ave.”

With Saturday markets held at Marina Mirage, Elizabeth says the suburb is a treasure.

“I moved to Main Beach four years ago, but before that my friends and I always came here to dine, shop and enjoy the clean beaches,” she says.

Main Beach is home to SeaWorld which draws in crowds all year round. Mike Batterham

“Main Beach glitters at night and has a really dreamy feel with the street lights.”

Ray White Main Beach sales agent Paul Collins has been living and working in the area for 25 years, running a restaurant on Tedder Ave in his younger days.

“It is such an accessible area and that is on the top of the list of everyone who comes to buy in Main Beach,” Paul says. “They just want to walk to get to the beach or the shops.

“In the past, the suburb was a surfer’s hangout but a sophisticated crowd has moved in.”

Paul believes half of all residents in Main Beach are retirees while the other half are young families and couples.

With apartments dotted along the coastal strip the area is modest in scale compared to Surfers Paradise.

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The beach views look out to Versace. Photo: Mike Batterham

Paul says in comparison to Surfers, the number of high-rise apartments are much less, which makes the suburb exclusive.

“There are just over 3000 apartments in Main Beach and there are over 23,000 in Surfers Paradise,” he says.

“There are a lot of owner occupiers buying these apartments, the trend of letting them out isn’t popular anymore. People are much more interested in renovations and creating a liveable space with stylish decor.”

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High-profile celebrities and socialites are known to check-in at Versace. Photo: Glenn Hampson

While there are new restaurants embracing the suburb, the old bathing pavilion retains its charm. Located on McArthur Pde next to the Southport Surf Life Saving Club, Pavilion 34 has been transformed into a relaxed beach cafe.

Main Beach Progress Association secretary Georgie Brown says the area is buzzing with events.

“The area had its heyday in the early 2000s, it was the place to go and it has had a bit of a slump in the past few years,” Georgie says. “There have been fashion parades and, of course, the Gold Coast 600 which attracts big crowds. Our club is working on getting new businesses back on Tedder Ave, a lot of them closed down a few years ago because rent was getting too high.”

As well as the social events in the area, Main Beach is an entertainment precinct with Sea World and HydroFly wowing tourists.

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8 reasons our property markets could crash

Following a couple of booming years some of our property markets have stalled, and the latest stats show that house prices have dropped a little in a number of our capital cities.

Not surprisingly this is allowing some of the property pessimists to rub their hands in glee saying “I told you so.”

Sure our property markets are experiencing a slowdown, and yes prices are falling a little in some locations, however we’re not in for a property crash and in a moment I’ll explain why.

But let’s look at what really needs to happen to cause dwelling prices to fall significantly.

Now just to make things clear… while at this gathered eight events that could cause a significant fall in Australian property values, I’m not predicting that any of the events will take place, but they do provide danger signals for those watching our housing market.

What could cause our property markets to collapse?

It’s not as simplistic as the bubblers think. House prices “collapse” (not cyclically correct, but collapse) when people are forced to sell their homes and there is no one willing to buy them.

I accept that properties are expensive in some locations of Sydney and Melbourne and that recently home prices are falling a little, but that doesn’t mean property values will crash in our big capital cities.

In fact, they’ve never have crashed since housing market data has been collected in Australia.

Instead what tends to happen prices is an orderly correction, with prices only falling slightly, because people choose to simply remain in their home and ride things out, while most property investors also try and hold on rather than realising their capital loss.

A true collapse in house prices would require some large external shock such as:

  1. Unemployment high enough to trigger a wave of forced home sales.

Our economy is slowly improving with more jobs being created, particularly in the service industries, so it’s unlikely that we’ll have a crippling unemployment rate in the foreseeable future.

Of course as the mining boom wound down we saw job losses dampening the property markets particularly in Perth and Darwin.

And with less manufacturing occurring there have been job losses in the motor industry and the like; but overall we’re creating more jobs than we have for a long time, with the New South Wales economy going from strength to strength and promising employment data coming out of Queensland and Victoria.

  1. High interest rates that would cause a raft of homeowners to default on their mortgages.

Again this doesn’t seem likely in the near future with the money markets factoring in lowish interest rates for another decade.

But since Australian banks rely on overseas markets for about a third of their funding, higher interest rates overseas could play a role in higher Australian interest rates locally and considering our prevailing low interest rates, a rise of just 1% could lead to a 20% increase in your mortgage repayments.

  1. A “credit squeeze”

Difficulty obtaining finance, such as interference by APRA or tightening of bank lending criteria, could significantly slow our markets, but unless it is severe, this is unlikely to cause our property markets to crash.

Since our banking system is underpinned by residential property lending and has a vested interest in keeping dwelling prices at least stabilised and hopefully rising, it’s in nobody’s interest to cripple the markets.

  1. A severe recession that would cripple our economy.

A severe recession would increase unemployment and cause homeowners to default on their mortgages, but our economy is performing well and a downturn doesn’t seem to be on the radar of any respectable economist.

This means any Australian recession would most likely to be brought on by events overseas.

But even looking back at “the recession we had to have” in the 90’s, this did not cause our property markets to “crash.”

  1. A severe oversupply of property.

While an oversupply could occur in a few isolated markets, such as the CDB high rise apartment markets in Melbourne and Brisbane, in general we have an undersupply of the right type of property that most home buyers want.

  1. A halt to the rising population.

Infrastructure Australia predicts Sydney’s population will increase by around 80,000 people and reach 6.1 million in 2031.

In Melbourne the population curve is steeper with the population likely to be 6 million people by 2031, or an increase of 100,000 people a year.

The other capitals are set to experience similar, but not as dramatic population increases.

Population growth has slowed over the last year and is currently concentrated in our four big capital cities, but if our population does not rise by anything like these estimates, then there will be dwelling surpluses, which will cause prices to fall in some locations.

  1. A slowdown in foreign investment in Australia

Foreign residents are restricted to buying new properties, and currently Chinese residents are buying around 80 per cent of the apartments being built in inner Sydney and an even higher proportion in Melbourne and Brisbane’s CBD.

If for any reason this buying stops, and the two most likely causes are our governments’ actions that would make Asian investors feel unwelcome or events back home that require the money tap to be turned off, then property values in our inner CBD high-rise sub markets will fall.

  1. Changes to government legislation making property investment less favourable.

Over the years property investors have accounted for around 30% of our real estate markets, but more recently, especially in Sydney, investors have accounted for close to 50% of property sales.

Any change to negative gearing or self- managed superannuation funds buying property, or adjustments to capital gains tax rates could discourage investors (at least for a short time) and this could put downward pressure on property values at least for a short time.

O.K. – so that’s what could cause our property markets to crash. Now let’s look at…

Seven good reasons why our property markets won’t crash this year.

  1. Our robust population growth
  2. healthy economy
  3. sound banking system
  4. Rising business confidence
  5. Consumer confidencehas been rising
  6. healthy level of household debt.
  7. A culture of home ownership– seventy per cent of us own or are paying off our homes.

The bottom line:

For a number of years now bubblers and doomsayers have been predicting the bursting of Australia’s property bubble.

They’ve told us we’re in denial about the impending gloom blinded by the consistent performance of our property markets over the last few years.

I’ve just explained what could cause a property market collapse, but I’ve also explained why I don’t think we should be worried.

However, we need to be vigilant. As investors we need to be aware of what’s happening in the world’s economies as Australia does not operate in isolation.

Strategic investors will take advantage of the opportunities our property markets will offer over the next couple of years maximising their upsides while protecting their downsides.

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1.4m to map out rail stage 3

January 5, 2017,

GOLD Coast council will spend more than $1.4 million conducting feasibility studies and designing the third stage of the light rail project.

The third stage, which will run from Broadbeach to Coolangatta, will be split into two sections, the first ending at Burleigh.

Council decided to split the section to increase the chance of receiving federal or state help for the transport route, which is expected to cost about $1.5 billion.

Final costings are expected to be released once the feasibility studies and design work has been completed.

The council has released a tender for the design work and feasibility study for the first half of the third stage and the documents set a deadline of June 30 next year to have the work completed.

Maps provided in the tender show the light rail will continue south along the Gold Coast highway until it reaches Bilinga where it will veer towards the airport before heading back into Coolangatta.

The documents show the third stage will not be the final extension of the light rail.

“The (Gold Coast City Transport) Strategy also identifies a number of other light rail routes for future consideration including Nobby Beach to Robina Town Centre, Surfers Paradise to Bundall, Main Beach to The Spit and Parklands to Biggera Waters,” the documents read.

The documents call for the design of the route to Burleigh, including traffic solutions for intersections.

This section is expected to be one of the easier sections to design as it follows the Gold Coast Highway along a relatively flat section with no bridges to cross.

The tender documents reveal the location of stations will be decided after community consultation to take place in April next year.

Mayor Tom Tate said council were yet to ask the state and federal governments for funding support, a conversation which will dictate when the third stage is built.

“(Construction will begin) once we secure state and federal support,” he said. “It is too early to commit to a funding model for that section.”

Based on the funding models used in the first two stages, the council will have to contribute about 11 per cent of the total cost.

Cr Tate said the council was focusing on the route mapping and financial analysis at this stage.

He said council would make a decision on the route at some point next year after the mapping had been completed.

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Chinese to invest $800m in park

Chinese company Wanda has sold a huge parcel of land at Carrara to another Chinese company, Songcheng Performance Development. Picture: David Clark

 

A ROMANTIC land of theatre, music and dance – worth up to $800 million – will be created from a tract of flood-prone land nestled between the Nerang River and Nerang train station under plans by a key Chinese theme park developer.

Songcheng Performance Development – which also builds indoor skiing parks – will next week settle on the purchase of 40.45ha of land at Lakeview Drive, close to Metricon Stadium, where it is set to make its Australian debut with a major cultural theme park on the Gold Coast.

The sale, which is unconditional, will see fellow Chinese theme park developer Wanda and partner Ridong receive $55 million – more than double the $20.8 million it paid receivers for the 40.46ha block just three years ago.

Canford Property agent Roland Evans, who brokered both sales, said the breathtaking increase was indicative of strong Chinese interest in Australian, and particularly Gold Coast, investment.

“The sales we keep doing show that the confidence in the Coast just keeps coming,” he said.

In a statement to the Shenzen stock exchange, the company said its board had approved the development of a major entertainment project aimed at Chinese visitors, named “Australian Legendary Kingdom”.

The project will be worth up to $800 million and will feature an “Aboriginal Cultural Village” a “Wild Australia” stage show and a “Mysterious Orient” precinct.

Songcheng entertainment parks draw millions of visitors each year to theatrical and musical productions and experiences.

Mr Evans said the sale had been approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board and that Canford had now been appointed as a buyer’s agent for Songcheng in their search for more Australian investments.

Songcheng’s current theme parks offer a mix of performance attractions, indoor skiing facilities and luxury resorts and include popular parks at Sanya, a city known as China’s Gold Coast.

The Sanya Romance Park, Sanya Songcheng Color Zoo, Sanya Songcheng Ice and Snow World, and Sanya Songcheng Langlanglang Water Park receive millions of visitors each year.

The Wanda group, which has made aggressive inroads into theme parks and film production in China and the US and is Australia’s largest cinema owner, is well into construction of its $1 billion Jewel resort and apartment complex in northern Broadbeach.

There was speculation Wanda would develop a park on the Nerang land after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited chairman Wang Jianlin 12 months ago.

Songcheng, which has aspirations to be the world’s number one stage show company, is set to release more detailed plans for the site, which is in three parcels, late next week.

 

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Gold Coast one of the hottest lifestyle regions in the country, real estate survey reveals

December 21, 2016,

THE Gold Coast is the second hottest lifestyle region in the country.

Core  Logic figures outlining the top 25 council regions across lifestyle markets where the most houses have sold show the Coast placed at second with almost 20,000 homes sold in the 12 months to June.

Three other Queensland regions are also listed – Noosa at ninth, Sunshine Coast at 11th and Moreton Bay at 24th.

More than half the list was NSW council areas, including the top spot of Wingecarribee, west of Wollongong and including Bowral, an area much-sought after by Sydneysiders.

Core Logic property market analyst Cameron Kusher said the Coast property market had returned following “many years in the doldrums”.

“Previously, when you look at sales volumes on the Coast they had been pretty low a few years back but it’s definitely picked up in the last 12 to 18 months,” Mr Kusher said.

“We’re starting to see migration into Queensland pick up a little again and the Gold Coast has probably been a factor of that.”

He said Sydney and Melbourne buyers were fuelling the surge.

“People have a lot of equity in their properties and are considering buying coastal properties again,” he said.

“And when people think of coastal areas, the Gold Coast is a big one.

“People are starting to look for holiday homes or homes they may retire to on the Gold Coast out of Sydney or Melbourne.”

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1000 jobs headed to the Gold Coast after three developments given the first tick of approval

THREE major developments worth almost $1 billion are set to create at least 1000 jobs on the Gold Coast.

And the injection is expected to come just when the city is about to head into a predicted post-Commonwealth Games slump.

One expert said more money was on the way, with a boom yet to come.

The Gold Coast City Council’s planning committee gave three multistorey towers in Southport, Labrador and Chevron Island preliminary approval during a meeting yesterday.

The largest of the potential developments is the ASF Group’s mammoth 66-storey Au development which features a gold-cladded main tower and a shorter 15-storey, short-term accommodation on Park Lane and Scarborough Street.

The main tower will also feature two sky homes, four levels of commercial offices, retail stores and 474 units.

Urban Development Institute of Australia Gold Coast and Logan president Finn Jones said similar sized apartments had generated at least $500 million in apartment sales.

He said having three major developments all approved at once was a positive.

“It shows there is lot of confidence in the Gold Coast as a city,” he said.

Mr Jones said the buildings would generate hundreds of jobs.

“Many of our subcontractors headed to Brisbane after the GFC and this will be able to provide them with work here,” he said.

He said there would be more to come.

“I don’t believe our city has seen a boom yet,” he said.

Mr Jones said property prices were still well below other major cities.

The committee also recommended approval of the Sunland Group’s One Marine Parade, a 36-storey, 217-unit tower on the Labrador KFC site.

Sunland managing director Sahba Abedian said the building had an estimated end value of more than $200 million and would create up to 300 new jobs during its two-and-a-half year construction period.

“As part of our commitment to creating vibrant communities, Sunland Group will contribute $450,000 towards the new ‘Octopus Garden’ play area in the Southport Broadwater Parklands, as well as upgrades to the Len Fox Park across from our site,” he said.

The site had been subject to a previous two-tower development but Sunland scrapped that in favour of a taller, single tower.

Other Sunland developments in southeast Queensland are finishing soon, giving rise to predictions the developer will want to start as soon as possible.

The final development is a 36-storey, 237-unit tower on the corner of Stanhill Dr and Anembo St on Chevron Island.

Independent developer Harry Habul said he estimated it would cost him about $70 million to build the towers.

But he was not confident about how much the end value would be or when construction would start, due to unit prices on the Gold Coast.

“If you asked me six months ago, I would have said go straight away,” he said.

Mr Habul said a number of unit developments had started and unit prices were still low, making him hesitant to start straight away.

With the size of the development close to that of Sunland, it is estimated it will return a similar value and require the same manpower to build.

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More than half of Hope Island development Park Cove’s waterfront homes have sold

Park Cove, Hope Island.

BUYERS are snapping up properties at Park Cove Hope Island since its launch four weeks ago.

More than half of the freehold waterfront homes have sold and interest in the Parkside Terraces has also been strong.

The master planned community at 23-31 Sickle Ave, Hope Island, includes 16 waterfront homes starting from $1.295 million and 31 parkside terraces from $639,000.

Director Louis Cheung from Park Cove developer Keylin Group says he is happy with the response from the market since launching last month.

“The interest we have seen from the market since launching, including buyers and local agents, has been overwhelming,” Louis says.

“We’ve seen strong interest from families living on both the Gold Coast and Brisbane, interstate investors and international buyers looking to relocate their families to this incredible lifestyle destination.

“Hope Island is no longer a destination to get to; it is now an infill development area adjacent to the Coomera Town Centre and Pimpama growth corridors.

“It boasts the luxury golf courses, international resorts and canals that were built so many years ago, but also offers families all of the modern-day conveniences including schools, shopping and public transport.”

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Preparing for stage 3 of the light rail – Broadbeach to Coolangatta Airport

September 21, 2016,

PLANNING for the third stage of the city’s light rail network is about to become serious, with the council preparing to call design and engineering tenders.

Local firms stand to benefit from the third-stage design project that will take the network south to the Queensland-NSW border.

The council aims to officially call tenders in November in the hope of construction starting after the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Mayor Tom Tate, pictured at the Gold Coast Airport, holding up public consultation backing light rail to the border. Picture Mike Batterham

Many local firms are believed to be already preparing their bids for the $1.4 million design project, which will focus on mapping the route from Broadbeach to the Gold Coast Airport and Coolangatta.

The project will also investigate major engineering challenges and needs, including how to get around the Burleigh Headland and across Currumbin and Tallebudgera creeks, plus loss or relocation of parking and other services, such as street lights and road barriers.

Mayor Tom Tate said the tram system’s southern route could be split into separate sections as part of the study.

“Council may consider that 22 kilometres in two sections — Broadbeach to Burleigh — and then Burleigh on to the airport,” he said.

“We are applying value-for-money principles in planning light rail for our city and with stage two under way, it makes sense to get to tenders for the start of stage three in late 2017 or early 2018.

“That way, the expertise will be here to keep this game-changing project moving forward.”

Cr Tate said he hoped to be in a position to start lobbying the federal and state governments on the stage three funding model within a year.

“We are already looking at how urban design can support the city’s aim of consolidating urban population along the public transport spine extending along the Coast,” he said.

“This will mean less need for people to rely on car transport and support the cost-effective operation of light rail.”

The council committed funding for the project in its June budget and the route is likely to run along the Gold Coast Highway to Burleigh, with the southern connection likely to continue along the same path.

The first step towards the third stage’s development was welcomed by one of the state’s leading rail lobby groups.

Rail Back on Track’s Steven Jamieson said the “highly ambitious” push was commendable but the State and federal governments would soon need to become involved.

“This is going to be a major state project,” he said.

Steven Jamieson.

“The feasibility of this project must be done right because, without a good business case, we are not going to see state funding let alone from the Federal Government,” he said.

“This is going to be major state project which we are absolutely in favour of and I am happy to see it starting to progress.

“A lot has been learned during the first two stages which could no doubt be put into effect to make stage three smoother.”

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Northern Gold Coast cane fields on market to build vast new city and set land sale record

September 15, 2016,

A NEW coastal city, with scope for a Disney-sized theme park, education, housing, retail and commercial space has been proposed between Brisbane and the Gold Coast under a historic deal between the owners of 248 properties.

A parcel of sugarcane land more than 10 times the size of Surfers Paradise, bordered by the M1, Moreton Bay and two rivers, is on the market, with sellers hoping to achieve a national land sales record, likely to be well over $1 billion.

The site in the Norwell Valley would become Australia’s largest masterplanned city, triple the land size of Ipswich’s Greater Springfield which is projected to house 105,000 people by 2030.

The 40 landowners in the deal — many of them cane farmers — see the sale of the 6117 hectares as a dignified end for the area’s industry, which has been struggling to maintain viable supply to the Rocky Point Mill.

Prospective buyers of the valley would become its master planners, co-ordinating government approvals and engaging major residential and other developers to deliver the extensive infrastructure required — with up to a third of the area proposed to be designated green space.

The deal between owners was struck by Global Enterprise Management Solutions, which was formed by architect Rob Machon and stockbroker Wayne Cummins, who have both moved to the Gold Coast from Sydney.

A statement released by Canford Property, which is running the sales campaign, said agents had already spoken to “some of China’s largest developers and theme park operators who want to unseat Disney and develop one of world’s largest theme parks on the Gold Coast”.

One of China’s richest people Wang Jianlin has made no secret of his ambitions to take Disney’s worldwide theme park crown through his Wanda Group, and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk met with Mr Wang about investing in Queensland last year.

Wanda is already building the Jewel development at southern Surfers Paradise and has various other landholdings in the city.

Government approvals and zoning changes are likely to be one of many potential hurdles for the project, which could take more than a decade to reach fruition. It took 22 years for Greater Springfield to go ahead, and it required the State Government to created specific legislation for its development.

The area is zoned rural under the Gold Coast City Plan, which was approved by the State last year and specifically aims to ensure land uses “do not interfere, encroach or impact on the city’s sugar cane growing, particularly in the Woongoolba/Norwell areas and the Rocky Point Sugar Mill”.

The council is understood to be studying alternative uses for caneland under the City Plan 2015, with a view for submitting changes to the State within 12 months.

State Government reps were briefed on project on Monday, while it already has the backing of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, who said it had the potential to become an Orlando-style tourist drawcard.

“We are talking about an expansion of the Yatala enterprise area, the southward expansion of the aquaculture industry from the northeastern corner, and primarily an expansion of the tourism, recreation and entertainment offerings,” he said in the agent’s statement.

“The secondary opportunities of education sector expansion and silicon valley-type activity is particularly exciting to me.

“Development can’t be piecemeal — that would never work given the flood and drainage challenges.

“Some landowners would win, some would lose, and there would be many in between.”

Canford managing director Roland Evans said he had already had discussions with Australian and foreign companies about buying the land.

“What we’re looking for is someone who’s got the ability to do the master planning for this, because it’s such a massive concept,” he said.

“Effectively it closes the gap between the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

“It will be a major grower of jobs, homes and work — it’s a whole new town effectively.”

How the deal was done

GOLF was the unlikely catalyst that lead two men to convince 40 landowners to drive for an Australian-record land deal.

Architect Rob Machon, who “retired” to the Gold Coast from Sydney’s northern beaches 12 years ago, met fellow former Sydneysider and stockbroker Wayne Cummins by chance on the fairways of Sanctuary Cove and the pair became friends.

But it was a third golfing mate, cane farmer Arthur Fiumini, whose idea a year ago would eventually lead to today’s announcement.

— Continued in today’s digital and print editions of the Gold Coast Bulletin

Farmers’ long battle to secure a future

NORTHERN Gold Coast sugar production would not immediately cease, but would taper off over a number of years if the 6117ha Norwell Valley land package is sold for development.

Much of the 2016 crop is still in the fields as the Rocky Point Mill lies idle due to a power failure, with parts sent off for expensive repairs.

Read more in today’s digital and print editions of the Gold Coast Bulletin.

Land offer for second M1

THE joining of major tracts of land in the Norwell Valley could fast-track a duplication of the congested M1, which is currently not expected before 2031.

Former Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney worked to remove the Intra-Regional Transport Corridor while considering the Gold Coast’s Draft City Plan 2015 — but it was reinstated by the Labor Government this year.

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