Queensland still has plenty of affordable coastal towns for holiday makers who want to return from the beach with more than just sand in their pockets.
In-demand beach locations such as Noosa and the Gold Coast may be out of reach for many holiday home buyers, but there are more than 50 coastal suburbs throughout the state where the median house value is below $400,000.
New research by RP Data revealed median house values in the Cairns region were $342,708 and in the Whitsunday region it was $385,000.
There were no suburbs on the Sunshine Coast where the median was under $400,000 although Currumundi came in close at $400,631.
The Fraser Coast, about four hours north of Brisbane, had the highest number of coastal suburbs with affordable medians.
There were ten suburbs with medians under $400,000 including Burrum Heads, Urgangan, Pialba and Point Vernon.
Burnett Heads on the Coral Coast, about 15km from Bundaberg, was one of the state’s most affordable coastal markets with a median value of $296,174.
The cheapest house listed for sale in the suburb was about two blocks back from the water and was already under contract.
The three-bedroom house had an initial asking price of $199,000.
Meanwhile a four-bedroom home in Burnett, within walking distance of the beach was asking $239,000.
Despite a softening in the Gold Coast property market in recent years, Labrador was the only coastal suburb with a median house value under $400,000.
While almost all median suburb values on the Gold Coast may be more than $400,000 there were still bargains to be had, particularly in the unit market
RP Data analyst Cameron Kusher said values on the Gold Coast were still about 20 per cent below what they were at the peak of the market.
According to realestate.com.au there are dozens of apartments in Surfers Paradise listed for sale for less than $200,000.
These include a one-bedroom unit in the Surfers Paradise Boulevard building managed by Outrigger Hotels and Resorts from $97,000.
It is being sold off by the unit’s mortgagee. Facilities in the hotel include a day spa, swimming pool, gym and tennis court. It is within walking distance of the beach.
In the smaller Chateau complex on the Esplande at Surfers Paradise a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit is being offered for $188,000.
It has views which overlook the beach. The complex has a heated swimming pool, spa, sauna and steam room.
Nearby in Southport, there is a one-bedroom unit in Barney St for $129,000.
The studio-apartment in Southport Waters is close to the new swimming facilities being built for the Commonwealth Games.
On the Sunshine Coast, a one-bed studio apartment in Alexandra Headland is being offered for sale for $139,000.
It has “ocean glimpses” while the complex has a pool and tropical gardens and is opposite the surf beach at Alexandra Headland.
Tim Lawless of RP Data said coastal homes close to capital cities generally came with hefty price tags, but regional coastal markets tended to be much more affordable.
“Many coastal housing markets saw a steep run up in values prior to the Global Financial Crisis,” he said.
After the FGC he said values had dropped substantially.
“Demand for coastal homes fell away after the GFC due to a number of factors including a substantial lack of tourists which resulted in an oversupply of short-term accommodation and a lack of housing demand from workers associated with the tourism and retail sectors in those areas,” he said.
Despite that Mr Lawless said with tourism numbers and the share markets improving, interest in “lifestyle” markets had started to bounce back.
Neil Smoli, of property research and investment group Aviate, warned people not to let a summer romance with their favourite holiday spot spiral into an investment property purchase they may regret.
“Many people, when considering investing in property for their future, think their favourite holiday destination is the ideal place for them to invest. After all, if you love an area so much, why not invest there now so you can rent it out and retire there later?,” Mr Smoli said.
“Sadly, it almost never works out. Investment decisions based on emotion, clouded by what could be described as a summer haze, are typically doomed. What might seem an opportunistic purchase for the future will more than likely become regret once the rose coloured glasses come off.”
Original article published www.news.com.au by Michelle Hele, The Courier Mail 21/12/2013