Billionaire Harry Triguboff has declared the Newman government’s crackdown on criminal gangs at the Gold Coast a major factor in the recovery of the city’s property markets.
Billions of dollars in new infrastructure, along with cheap funding, is also driving the comeback. At least six major residential developments were due to be launched before Christmas.
“I am very happy with what Campbell Newman has done with the criminals,” Mr Triguboff said.
“The criminals were in the best parts such as Surfers Paradise, it’s not like they were just living at Logan.
“It was quite frightening to walk in the commercial areas of Cavill [Avenue] at night but it is not any more.”
He said the improved perceptions around the Gold Coast following the Newman government’s crack down had not only helped influence interstate buyers to purchase property there, but also foreign buyers.
“For foreigners when they come to a strange place, they already are unsure of themselves,” Mr Triguboff said,
“So they needed to know they were safe too.”
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS MAJOR BUYERS
He said international students – in particular Chinese – were major buyers on the coast and they needed to be convinced they were safe.
Mr Triguboff, who started development of his Sundale residential project at the Gold Coast’s Southport this year, said the improved perception came just as the power of lower interest rates was starting to filter through to the city.
“The Gold Coast has been depressed and people were used to buying things cheaply, but people can’t buy at those prices any more,” he said.
Valuation experts also said the improved perceptions, coupled with a narrowing gap between established and new dwelling prices on the Gold Coast, had convinced developers to proceed.
“The negative publicity has gone and that has certainly had an effect on the perceptions of people from Sydney or Melbourne,” Herron Todd White director Luke Nichols said.
He said the market had bottomed in late 2012 and since then the price difference between established and new homes was no longer as large as it once was. “Established property under $1 million has been steadily improving and that has made it more commercially viable to develop new homes.”
Colliers International’s Tony Holland has been appointed to market and sell six residential projects on the Gold Coast ranging in value from $90 million to $160 million.
‘ALL YESTERDAY’S NEWS’
“We haven’t seen this level of activity since 2007,” Mr Holland said.
“I agree that the Gold Coast has not only suffered a property correction but also a bad crime and bikies perception, which is now all yesterday’s news as a result of the government’s crackdown.”
Mr Holland said that while the perceptions had been cleaned up, the major driver of the comeback was the level of public and private infrastructure . He said infrastructure such as the city’s Light Rail, which is now complete and operational, had given developers the confidence to push ahead with a number of their residential projects and sign off on marketing budgets.
“Our developer clients have acquired sites over the past three to five years, obtained the development approvals and waited patiently for the right opportunity to launch to market,” Mr Holland said. “They can see that the time is right, with new apartment supply at 30-year lows, combined with record low interest rates, a buoyant Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane property market and ever increasing demand from the Asian market.”
In August China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, had committed $HK12.5 billion ($1.7 billion) to invest in Australian real estate, including the construction of a $900 million beachfront resort on the Gold Coast.
The private sector is also helping to renew the city with AMP Capital spending $300 million redeveloping the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre.
Major Commonwealth Games infrastructure has proceeded, including the Aquatic Centre at Southport, which is now complete, and the Athletes’ Games Village at Southport, which is under construction.