As the Gold Coast continues to grow commercially, it's become somewhat of a waiting game to see where the next big business hub might be. Whether a hot retail spot, banking centre or focal point for larger scale enterprises, correctly guessing and investing in these areas can prove very profitable for clever investors. The difficult question is, do you target new and emerging regions, or stick with the tried and true areas that have proven themselves as stable, albeit slow-growing, hubs?
Well, the short answer is that it's difficult to tell on the Gold Coast. There's so much incredible growth occurring, along with massive infrastructural developments such as better public transport, that it's likely several new suburbs will present themselves as viable options for commercial and industrial property investment.
But what about Southport and the CBD? Over the last few years, Southport's status as the commercial centre of the Gold Coast has slipped. In part, this can be put down to the areas slow dissociation with the hugely important tourism industry, which has shifted away to other areas in recent years. Despite this slump, Southport is on its way back in a very big way, and as one of the most rapidly developing areas of the city, it appears set to retain its crown as the focal point of all things commercial and business-related.
With Southport's development slowing around the turn of 2013, Gold Coast City Council decided to make a few bylaw amendments in order to foster greater growth in the area. As part of this, the 'Priority Development Area' or PDA was established, with the goal of encouraging new businesses and developers to focus their attentions on the area. The plan has worked perfectly, with $2.5billion invested in the PDA so far.
Speaking to the Brisbane Times last year, Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate reiterated the importance of Southport as having "the highest number of jobs in the city – 25,000 jobs – with this figure expected to grow to 60,000 by 2036". In addition to this, Southport also has the most available office space on the Gold Coast, with much more on the way soon.
Interestingly, the changes in the Southport residential property market reflect what's been happening on the commercial side of things. From 2010 to 2011, there was an average house price drop from $475,000 to $385,000, according to information from CoreLogic RP Data. This mirrors the harder times that the suburb experienced commercially, but the future is looking bright on all sides. Since the low of 2011, residential averages have jumped back up to $515,000, as more and more people become interested in the area. This can be seen in the roughly 245 visits per property, compared to Queensland's average of 180.
While residential and commercial property might seem to be separate, it's easy to see how they can be so interconnected in an area like Southport. With so many people working in the area, and a relative lack of parking options comparatively, the appeal of living within walking distance from the office is certainly a factor. Similarly, when an area is doing well commercially, more dining, retail and entertainment options can appear to take advantage of those with disposable income, creating a vibrant subculture similar to that of Surfers Paradise.
As an added benefit of more residents and more workers, Gold Coast commercial property of all types can expect to do well in Southport – not just the skyscrapers filled with financiers and lawyers. Convenient eating options or even more niche options such as doctors and dentists can all benefit from their proximity to such a large group of people, and in turn this cycle helps to create an immensely appealing property landscape for all sorts of different businesses.
Ultimately we'll have to wait and see if any new areas of commercial interest crop up around the Gold Coast, but for the meantime, Southport is certainly here to stay. For more information on Gold Coast commercial property, get in touch with Ray White today.