January 14, 2022

More local buyers now drawn to Gold Coast apartment projects

Apartment developers on the Gold Coast are noticing a shift in demand for southeast Queensland projects, with most buyers now local downsizers hailing from either Brisbane or southeast Queensland instead of the southern states.

As such, veteran Queensland developer Jim Raptis has lodged plans for yet another multimillion-dollar apartment tower in Broadbeach.

If the 35-level BatesSmart-designed tower, which is expected to have a gross end value of $200m, is approved by Gold Coast City Council, the Raptis Group expects to start construction later this year.

Starting at an entry-level price of $900,000, about 150 apartments are expected to be developed on the 1500sq m Anne Ave site, with most buyers expected to be owner-occupiers from local areas. “A decade ago the mix of buyers was consistent: one-third investors, one-third owner-occupants and one-third holiday-makers who would lock up their apartment for large parts of the year,” Mr Raptis told The Weekend Australian in a statement.

“Since Covid, 70-80 per cent of our purchases have been to local empty-nesters and interstate downsizers.” As well as several penthouses, the project will house two and three-bedroom apartments, while electric-vehicle charging stations will be available in owners’ garages.

The Anne Ave development adds to Raptis’s projects in Broadbeach that include the recently sold-out $95m Gallery Residences on Second Ave, and the developer’s recently approved tower in George Ave, where construction on a $220m tower has begun. All apartment projects will include infinity pools, tropical gardens, alfresco and indoor dining rooms.

“When people are spending more time at home, they also want more space,” Mr Raptis said. New & improved business newsletter. Get the edge with AM and PM briefings, plus breaking news alerts in your inbox. Sign up “In our previous projects, buyers are choosing to convert their third bedroom into an additional living, media or office space.

That will be one of the longstanding legacies of Covid.”

However, in a recent interview with The Weekend Australian, Mr Raptis was not keen to discuss his ongoing tax issues with the Australian Taxation Office. “We are having productive discussions with the ATO, that is all I can say,” he said.

“We are discussing historic matters that go back 15-20 years.”

He could not be contacted for further comment this week.

Meanwhile, Melbourne developer Hirsch & Faigen also appears to have struck a chord with Gold Coast buyers, with its $200m Yves development situated on the Gold Coast’s premium 7-9 Mermaid Ave end selling strongly in the first two weeks of the project’s release. First-home buyers are among the purchasers in the project, which sold $40m worth of apartments within two weeks of its release.

A Melbourne investor paid $2.995m for a sub-penthouse in the Yves project. However, Gold Coast and Brisbane downsizers make up 70 per cent of the initial buyers.

Yves features one, two, and three-bedroom designs, as well as two four-bedroom, half-floor sub-penthouses. A full-floor penthouse is on the market for $5.5m.

“The demand we’ve experienced in recent weeks shows the market remains strong despite the latest Covid outbreaks,” said Hirsch & Faigen sales director Matt George. “Yves is generating interest from a broad range of buyers looking for the lifestyle afforded by this exclusive pocket of Mermaid Beach, just a stroll away from Pacific Fair and the Broadbeach entertainment precinct.

The Gold Coast is also still proving to be hugely popular with investors.” Negotiations are under way for the sale of the second sub-penthouse in the 24-level tower that has a $2.495m price tag. Buyers from Sydney and Melbourne accounted for only 20 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, of the recent sales.

Designed by Rothelowman, the Yves development will contain 145 units.