One of the predominant property trends of the Covid era was a mass exodus from Australia’s largest cities to the regions. From 2020-2022, capital-regional migration was 15% higher than the two years before the pandemic, which in turn led to strong gains for markets like Central Coast and Sunshine Coast.

Since then though, this has somewhat reversed. The biggest performers in 2023 were the likes of Sydney, Perth and Brisbane, while regional areas were more subdued.

As far as the attraction of the Sunshine Coast goes though, nothing has changed. It remains the most popular destination for Aussies leaving the capitals, with a 16.7% share of capital to regional migration over the year to the September quarter, according to the CommBank/Regional Australia Institute Regional Movers Index.

Simon Pressley, head of research at Propertyology, says there are plenty of reasons why the Sunny Coast remains a good bet for home buyers and investors alike.

“A lot of great work over the last decade to improve the region’s economic diversity is now coming to roost,” he told Savings.com.au.

“The 23% increase in Sunshine Coast’s total job volumes over the last four years is three-times greater to Sydney and Melbourne.

"This strong local economy, the amazing lifestyle and the work-from-anywhere phenomena all play a role in this region being Australia’s biggest beneficiary of internal migration. Propertyology anticipates capital growth of circa 3 to 7 percent in 2024.”

We spoke to Lloyd Edge, Founder and Director of Aus Property Professionals, and Dr Asti Mardiasmo, head of research at PRD, to find out their picks for the Sunshine Coast suburbs to watch out for in the coming year.


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Median property price and rent data from Realestate.com, correct as of December '23

Nambour (4560)

  • Median price: $672,500 for houses, $450,000 for units

  • Median rent: $590 pw for houses, $480 for units

In 2022's edition of Sunshine Coast suburbs to watch in 2023, Nambour, about 17km inland from the coast, was highlighted by several experts for its strong growth potential. Like many other areas on the coast, Nambour property values went down slightly in the year past (a 1.2% decline for houses and a 2.2% drop for unit prices), but the long term potential remains.

"Nambour's affordability and small-town charm, coupled with its proximity to key Sunshine Coast towns, make it an attractive option for a range of buyers," Mr Edge told Savings.com.au.

Nambour also looks set to benefit from the Centre Activation project, a significant investment aimed at revitalising the area, and enticing further development from the private sector.

Kenilworth (4574)

  • Median price: $759,000 for houses, not enough data for units

  • Median rent: Not enough data

Further inland from Nambour, famous for its bakery (and 1kg donut), Kenilworth is another suburb in the Sunshine Coast hinterland that could be set for a strong 2024.

Unlike many of the other areas listed, Kenilworth was seemingly unaffected by the overall decline in Sunshine Coast property values in 2023. House prices rose a marked 41.9% over the year to November '23, according to REA, which was one of the main reasons Dr Mardiasmo picked out Kenilworth for its future growth potential.

Landsborough (4550)

  • Median price: $765,500 for houses, $560,000 for units

  • Median rent: $580 pw for houses, $500 for units

Our final pick in the Sunshine Coast hinterland is Landsborough, about 20km west of Caloundra. PRD research highlighted Landsborough units in particular, both for high rental yields (4.9%) and low vacancy rates (0.5%). Unit prices in Landsborough rose 17.9% through 2023, but remain below the median for Regional Queensland ($593,172).

As far as liveability goes, Landsborough has convenient access to the Bruce Highway, and sits on the North Coast railway line, with daily service to Brisbane and north to Nambour and Gympie. The population is small, but growing, and if you’ve got children, or are a wildlife enthusiast, Steve Irwin’s very own Australia Zoo is on the doorstep.

Caloundra (4551)

  • Median price: Not enough data for houses, $650,000 for units

  • Median rent: $630 pw for houses, $570 for units

Considering it boasts some of the Sunshine Coast's most popular beaches, the median unit price in Caloundra looks very reasonable at $650,000. Prices dropped 11.9% over 2023, but that followed a period of consistent growth from 2018.

Mr Edge says there’s every reason to think Caloundra will perform strongly in future, particularly once interest rates go down.

“Caloundra's beachside living and accessibility to Brisbane position it as a strong contender for growth in both the residential and holiday property market," he said.

Caloundra West made its way onto REA's list of 100 suburbs to watch in 2024, highlighted for its “desirable lifestyle and improving amenities”.

Caloundra units.JPG

Unit prices in Caloundra since 2018. Source: REA.

Palmview (4553)

  • Median price: $775,000 for houses, not enough data for units

  • Median rent: $680 pw for houses

Palmview is a smaller, inland Sunshine Coast suburb that only locals are likely to be familiar with, but it's another one of Lloyd Edge’s tips for 2024.

"Located near the Sunshine Coast University and new Maroochydore CBD, Palmview offers a tree-change lifestyle close to the beach, making it appealing for its rental yields and growth potential," he said.

On 30 October, the Sunshine Coast council announced changes to the Palmview Infrastructure Agreement to provide for a revised road network to better service the community, which should improve the suburbs viability for homebuyers.

Birtinya (4575)

  • Median price: $907,000 for houses, $557,000 for units

  • Median rent: $735 pw for houses, $570 for units

For buyers who want to benefit from the coastal lifestyle, but are put off by the prices in Caloundra, Mooloolaba and the like, Birtinya is a lesser known spot on Lake Kawana with more agreeable property values.

"Birtinya's proximity to the beach and key amenities like the Sunshine Coast University Hospital earmarks it as an investment hotspot," Mr Edge said.

Picture by Nick Sarvari on Unsplash





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