On the morning the Gold Coast’s new City Plan came into effect this month, 90 development applications were lodged with City Hall’s Planning Department.
High net worth investors, syndicates and public developers stampeded into city hall with their investments in tow. The applications included everything from duplexes through to a $120 million rejuvenation of the Palm Meadows Golf Course from Macau-based entrepreneur Dr Stanley Ho, a long-time fan of the Gold Coast.
The new Plan has been backed by the development and construction sectors which believe it will bring to fruition thousands of job-creating opportunities, complementing public infrastructure commitments. Not unexpectedly, it has been met by protests in some community sectors as it looks to share the load of short, medium and long-term population forecasts across the city.
But the new Plan takes hold at a pivotal period for a city where a higher than average portion of the community will look to ‘cash-in’. According to the 2011 Census (the latest) 32.7% of the Gold Coast’s population was aged over 50. In contrast, 28.9% of Brisbane residents are aged over 50.
Property is integral to the wealth strategies of individuals. A lot of these older residents have developed strong equity – or outright ownership – in their properties. This will enable them to add handsomely to their nest eggs, cashing out through on-selling to developers or amalgamators who want to capitalise on the new Plan.
The Gold Coast is on the cusp of something great. In addition to the 2018 Commonwealth Games infrastructure, the second stage of the light rail system has been confirmed, linking Surfers Paradise with the Brisbane CBD. The city also has direct flights to China; AMP Capital is well into its $670 million redevelopment of the Pacific Fair shopping centre; the Jupiters Casino is undergoing a $345m facelift; and the $1.5bn Jewel development will encourage even more Chinese investors and visitors to the city.
The City Plan has come at an exciting time.
Published in The Real Estate Conversation by Tony Trpeski; Wednesday 9th March 2016