Property a Year in Review – Kirstie Klein Hunter

Image source: IN Noosa Magazine

For most of us the year has flown by as quickly as property values have risen and with 2022 just around the corner, Jennifer Swaine asks Kirstie Klein Hunter to review the year that was, in terms of the property market, and what we can expect in 2022.

If anyone knows what’s happening in the property market IN Noosa, you can expect it to be Buyer’s Agent Kirstie Klein Hunter who says we are not likely to see the demand for stock dying down anytime soon with many prospective buyers needing to re-evaluate their budget to get into the market.

“The market has changed dramatically over the last 12 months,” Ms Klein Hunter said. “At the start of 2021, $1.2m may have gotten you into the market but that is no longer the case. People need to be realistic about what their money will buy and be prepared to adjust their thinking.”

Ms Klein Hunter said stock was tight at the moment with people holding off until the borders open before deciding to list their property.

“The other issue is that with very little stock becoming available, people who are wanting to sell and upgrade, have limited options of what they can buy if they want to stay in or around Noosa. We are also seeing significant increases in the value of prestige property, so to take that step up is getting harder for some.”

There are some noticeable trends that Ms Klein Hunter has seen and expects to continue into 2022:

Byron Bay entrepreneurs move in

Kirstie is actively working for several clients looking to relocate from the trendy Byron Bay Hinterland to Noosa. 

“The Noosa Hinterland is as appealing as what is on offer in Byron Bay, but they are now seeing our region as more appealing due to ease of accessibility via road and the upgraded airport, plus the new CBD and the improved connectivity offered by the subsea cable gives us a competitive edge.

“Thanks to Bernard Salt we are known as ‘the entrepreneurial capital of Australia’, and that is attracting tech savvy, innovative business owners and entrepreneurs,” she said.

“Many of these people can work remotely but don’t want to be too far from great beaches, good schools and easy access to main roads or large airports. The Sunshine Coast now offers everything these people are looking for.”

Investment focussed on apartments

A significant trend Ms Klein Hunter has seen over the last 12 months is the shift in what buyers are looking for when purchasing investment boltholes.

Previously houses were the preferred option, but this has slowly shifted to apartments, partly due to the Noosa letting laws but it is also price driven.

“Instead of purchasing a house it has become easier to purchase in developments like The Rise Noosa and Noosa Crest due to the flexibility, ease of use and proximity to Hastings Street.”

Covid-19 is not the only driver

Kirstie has been acting for buyers for nearly four years in the Noosa region and she says that while Covid-19 has played a role in driving demand in the region it is not the only reason for it.

“As a result of the increased infrastructure across the Sunshine Coast, the liveability of this region was already attracting a lot of interest and we were seeing the demand slowly increase. Covid simply added fuel to the fire that was already lit,” she said.

The impact of Covid is different to the GFC

Interestingly, Kirstie said that when there is a crisis you often expect people to act a certain way. 

“This hasn’t been the case with Covid,” she said. “When the GFC hit, Noosa was very much a holiday destination and people simply offloaded excess property to help with cash flow.

“During Covid, people have relocated here to live. They want to run their business here, send their kids to school and become a part of the community – they see this as a lifestyle move and not simply a place to have a holiday house. The dynamic has shifted, and this will have a flow-on effect to dining and retail precincts as well,” she said.

Will they stay or will they go?

So, as we head into 2022 Kirstie says the one thing that remains uncertain is what people will do once relative normality is restored.

“Will they stay, or will they return to where they came from? My guess is there will be a little bit of both,” she said. “People need to belong and that starts with putting down roots in the community. They need to find like-minded people to connect with and if they do that it will increase their chances of staying longer term.

“As locals, we all have a role to play in making people feel welcome, because the greater the diversity, skills and talents we have here, the more successful the region will be – and that is good for all of us,” Kirstie said.

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