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New SEQ regional plan to transform the Gold Coast

By Greg Bell

South East Queensland is an area of immense growth and promise, driven by the impressive performance of Brisbane, The Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise. Despite this, the Queensland Government is not willing to rest on their laurels. In an effort to ensure the continued growth of the area they have drafted a revised South East Queensland regional plan.

This plan was released in October 2016 and includes an imposing 160 pages detailing a growth and improvement strategy for the future of the region. When finalised and implemented in mid-2017 this plan is likely to have far-reaching and profound effects on the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise. It may open up new areas for investment, encourage different building practices or open up entirely new precincts for developers to invest in.

To help shed some light on what SEQ's future will look like, we've run through a couple key points of the plan below.

Increased residential development

The Shaping SEQ plan proposes that between 2011 and 2041 the area will require a total of 176,500 additional dwellings to meet growing demand. Of these dwellings 139,000 or 79 per cent will be infill developments, meaning that the area's residential housing supply will undergo considerable densification.

This is a major change from previous plans: the last plan's target was 50/50 greenfield/infill whereas the one before was 60/40 in favour of greenfield development.

This change will necessitate that the majority of developers focus on providing high density, infill residential development. This often comes at a higher cost in the form of high rise apartments, a fact that may make investment near Surfers Paradises' centre more difficult for lower level investors. On the brightside, it will mean more areas within the city centre might be zoned for large scale residential development, attracting foreign investors and stimulating growth in our city.

Driving industry growth

The plan also details strategies to continue to drive growth in the area's most significant industries. These include initiatives to improve, update and provide enabling infrastructure in key regional areas, to identify new areas of economic significance and to move towards more digitally based technological industries. These goals, among many others are forecasted to grow employment in wider SEQ by the following amounts by 2041:

  • Manufacturing: from 137,873 in 2016 to 228,594 in 2041.
  • Retail trade: from 134,505 in 2016 to 206,237 in 2041.
  • Professional, scientific and technical services: from 131,743 in 2016 to 269,442 in 2041.
  • Education and training: from 140,843 in 2016 to 237,530 in 2041.
  • Health care and social assistance: from 231,888 in 2014 to 410,931 in 2041.

As you can see several industries will see their numbers of employment double in the next 25 years, an impressive increase by any measure. These industries may indicate to investors and developers the areas in which opportunities will emerge in the near future.

Reacting to the changes

South East Queensland, the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise are areas earmarked for massive future growth. In regions undergoing such considerable change investors and developers have a unique opportunity to shape the development of the city's future, and of course invest in its success.

It's difficult to know exactly where the most lucrative investments are going to be in the coming years, however with solid advice and a comprehensive plan investors can make the most of the area's rapid development.

Get in touch with your local real estate agent for more information on upcoming opportunities in the Surfers Paradise and Gold Coast area.

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