The Sunshine Coast’s population is forecast to grow by circa 200,000 persons between 2021 and 2046. The rate of growth, whilst forecast to slow over the long-term, remains strong when compared with forecast growth for Queensland. This strong population growth will drive demand for new housing in an already undersupplied market.
The Sunshine Coast is a rapidly growing residential and tourist region of South East Queensland. The estimated resident population of the Sunshine Coast was 356,059 persons as of June 2022, having increased by 2.71% year-on-year. The population of the Sunshine Coast has seen consistently strong growth over the past decade, averaging 2.62% per annum over this period. During the year to June 2022, the Sunshine Coast region benefited from net internal migration of 7,101 persons, of which 1,009 persons relocated from Brisbane. The 35-to-44-year age group represents the largest age group for net migration to the region. The region’s population is forecast to reach half a million persons by 2041 (source: .id consulting).
During the 2021-22 financial year, Health Care and Social Assistance industry was the region’s largest industry, followed by Construction, and Education and Training. The State Government has committed $3.147 billion to the Sunshine Coast region as part of the $89 billion Big Build commitment. In addition to a number of projects being delivered across the region, community consultation has started/been recently undertaken on four key transport projects for the Sunshine Coast region, being:
- The Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line from Beerwah to Maroochydore. It is reported that the Business Case for this project will be completed by the end of this year.
- Sunshine Motorway, Mooloolah River Interchange Upgrade. Early Works started in May 2023.
- Kawana Motorway – planning for a new four-lane motorway between Parrearra and Meridan Plains.
- Sunshine Coast Public Transport project. Options are being considered and will inform the detailed business case.
The Sunshine Coast region’s residential market has performed strongly during recent years, supported by the previously record-low interest rates, strong population growth, and the ‘sea change’ trend that was heightened during the COVID pandemic. Sunshine Coast dwelling prices have increased to the extent that many parts of the market are now considered unaffordable for first-home buyers and the lower price point of the market is met with significant demand from first-home buyers and investors alike. Whilst recently showing tentative signs of stabilisation (following the introduction of limits on the frequency of rent increases on 1 July), residential rents have skyrocketed over recent years as a result of extremely tight vacancy rates and the declining affordability of the occupier market. In terms of future supply to the market, there were circa 5,300 dwellings approved across the Sunshine Coast over the two years ending June 2023, following from 7,600 approvals for the two years prior. The Aura Development has accounted for a significant share of approvals over recent years.
Sunshine Coast’s Residential Market
The Sunshine Coast is a rapidly growing residential and tourist region of South East Queensland. The estimated resident population of the Sunshine Coast was 356,059 persons as of June 2022, having increased by 2.71% year-on-year.