The Sunshine Coast – an employment hotspot
Welcome to our latest blog. This one is the Sunshine Coast Regional Update.
In our latest edition of the Sunshine Coast Regional Report, we can’t help but show some enthusiasm for this corner in South East Queensland at the moment. For what seems like forever, the Sunshine Coast has played second fiddle to Brisbane and the Gold Coast which have outshone in both economic growth and infrastructure funding. But that is changing.
I’m not saying that the Sunshine Coast is going to surpass either of those regions in economic size or employment scale and diversity, but the younger sibling is definitely growing up.
Just about everyone in Australia has heard of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital development; soon to be the largest hospital in the Southern Hemisphere, but not everyone may know of all the other projects happening simultaneously around the region.The region struggles a little with affordability but there are some great suburbs close to amenities and good schools where you can buy a brand new 3-bedroom house for under $400,000 or $350,000 would get you plenty of choice in the second-hand market. Nambour and Bli Bli are two suburbs that currently have properties in this price range (add another $40-50k in Bli Bli for higher land costs). But short term capital growth and yield present a different story. Bli Bli for instance, had an estimated 140 new residents move to the area last financial year yet had over 300 new houses built. While the suburb has a shopping centre undergoing expansion, the supply of new homes significantly outweighs the demand from new residents.
Nambour is becoming a property hotspot
Nambour on the other hand, had 103 new homes built over the same period, while 300 new residents moved to the area looking for somewhere to live. Nambour has had a bad rap over the past 10 years compared to suburbs closer to the ocean, but things are changing in this historical town on the Brisbane train line. New young residents are moving to the area attracted originally by the affordable price of rentals but are now coming in larger numbers attracted by the changing café, restaurant and bar scene.
On a regional level, the Sunshine Coast population is set to skyrocket as liveability improves and employment growth continues strongly. Projections of 2.4%pa population growth over the next 20 years are conservative in my view. Unemployment is one of the lowest in the country and with the new University Hospital starting the hiring process for 3,000 + staff, unemployment is only going to go lower.
I recently had an exclusive tour of the new hospital including the view from the helipad. Watch the one-minute video.
Another game-changing project that is well underway is the Maroochydore CBD development and neighbouring expansion of the Sunshine Plaza. Construction jobs will be easy to come by for the next few years as both projects take shape. 2,900 construction jobs will be needed for the Sunshine Plaza expansion and 2,300 retail positions once the stores are open in two years. Of the headlines stores coming, David Jones is the most eagerly anticipated. The expansion will add approximately 30% leasable floor space to the centre, taking it into the top ten largest shopping centres in Queensland.
Other notable projects that have approval are:
- Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion
- Sippy Downs Town Centre development including Youi Insurance Headquarters
- Sunshine Coast Solar Farm
- Bruce Highway Upgrade – Cooroy to Curra
- Caloundra South Priority Development Area (PDA)
Currently, what’s most interesting about this region is the value in building that has been occurring recently. The value in residential and non-residential building has exceeded $1 billion for the past four years. Last financial year, the value of building across the coast was $1.3 billion which is a significant amount for this region and evidence of the construction boom that is currently underway.
To read more on the Sunshine Coast, download our sample report or call 1300 788 905.