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Coast ripe for the picking
My Property Preview By Jade Harrison – January 2012
Home to more than 330,000 and with an ever growing population, it’s safe to say the Sunshine Coast is probably one of the worst kept secrets around. And as thousands of tourists flock to our beautiful region over the festive season, many of them will decide to leave their suitcases here permanently and go on to call the Sunshine Coast home. And they’re not the only ones.
Over the next few years hundreds of thousands of people will be moving to the Coast to live, work and play. The Sunshine Coast is on track for a massive economic kick start, with a number of large-scale developments underway and in the pipeline. And while the spillover effects from these large-scale projects are somewhat unfathomable to most, there’s certainly going to be a lot of money made by those who are savvy enough to recognise the looming opportunities.
The hit list is big: there’s the evolving Caloundra South precinct; the Palmview/Sippy Downs town centre; the massive Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) Precinct in Kawana, the Maroochydore Principal Activity Centre and the Sunshine Coast Airport Precinct which is evolving to host the projected influx of tourists.
Each of these projects will boast massive job creation, in fact more than 5000 extra jobs every year for the next 20 years will be created here on the Coast, which will lure tradesman, businesses and white-collar workers from all over the country. They will then invest here, live here and spend money here, which in turn will revitalise the local economy in a big way.
By 2020, the SCUH is to be the biggest hospital precinct in Australia. The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) says the project (which began late last year) is valued at over $2 billion - equal to a quarter of the entire Sunshine Coast regional economy.
This project is set to inject a whopping $3.5 billion worth of economic stimulus to the Sunshine Cost economy. Just the construction alone is on track to generate more than 11,000 jobs over five years.
For Sunshine Coast locals, this is a very exciting time.
A little further down the road from the hospital precinct is the new Caloundra South community which is projected to house a population of around 50,000 people and 20,000 dwellings over the next 30 years. This will give the Caloundra region a very healthy boost as it grows in line with the rest of the Coast. However, if you travel a little north of Caloundra and inland of Kawana, you'll stumble across the Palmview/Sippy Downs town centre.
Located within close proximity to the university, this area is planned as a vibrant major activity centre and technology hub which will host around 7500 dwellings to be built over a 15-year period.
Scott Hull, co-owner of LJ Hooker Caloundra and Kawana Waters, says these exciting projects teamed with the current buyers’ market, creates an opportune time to buy real estate on the Coast.
Scott says property prices surrounding developments should prove to become very valuable investments.
“The hospital should positively affect Wurtulla, Kawana Forest, Bokarina, Birtinya Island and all of those areas,” he says.
“Wurtulla (is) the sleeping giant with great beaches and the new Kawana town centre, sporting convenience and retailers. For example, I have a house in Wurtulla for sale, two blocks from the beach for $400,000. To me that’s great buying.
"I think anyone thinking of investing in the next five years should look at the infrastructure and government support online with those developments."
And while the hospital is getting most of the attention, the Maroochydore Principal Activity Centre (PAC) continues to evolve as the new CBD of the Coast.
It is anticipated to house the proposed Sunshine Coast Convention Centre and the Maroochydore railway station - a project that has been on the table for many years now.
But when it comes to infrastructure and transport, the local airport is the one that has the green light, and one that’s expected to logistically host the projected growth for the Coast.
It will undergo a terminal upgrade as well as a new and much longer east-west runway to replace the small north-south runway. This redirected runway will make way for larger jets and direct overseas flights. This will make the Coast even more lucrative to interstate and international investors and will certainly bring a large volume of international tourists straight to our doorstep. And just like before, some of these visitors will fall in love with the Coast and just like many of us, they will choose to never leave.