Year in Review with Kirstie Klein Hunter

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With Covid restrictions completely removed, 2023 was always going to be an interesting year for the property market. Jennifer Swaine asks Kirstie Klein Hunter to reflect on how the property market performed this year.

As a jewel in the crown of South East Queensland, Noosa is a universally loved destination.

With pristine beaches, unspoiled national parkland, amazing restaurants and a laid back but chic shopping precinct, it’s easy to see the appeal of the area.

“Noosa is a highly sought after location and it’s becoming increasingly harder for people to break into this market,” Kirstie said.

“Despite the limited stock and pressure on interest rates, if you know where to look and are prepared to be flexible there are still some gems to be found.

“With Covid behind us there were other factors influencing the property market this year, including a few unexpected curve balls.”

As we prepare to close the chapter on 2023, Ms Klein Hunter shares her thoughts on the year that was and what we can expect in 2024.

Draft SE QLD Regional Plan

The Noosa property market is quite unique in that there is finite stock in the region with very few pockets of land on which more property can be built. 

However, the State Government surprised everyone when, at the beginning of August, they proposed a draft plan that suggested Noosa accommodate an additional 19,100 people by 2046.

Unsurprisingly this has not been well received by Noosa residents because to achieve this target, the plan proposes that heights be increased to between four and eight stories in some areas of Noosa.

“This draft plan is causing a great deal of angst for the people of Noosa,” Kirstie said.

“While I recognise that there is a shortage of accommodation, particularly for those who work in the hospitality sector giving this plan the green light will have a significant impact on the liveability and appeal of the area.

“Currently you can build three levels with a maximum of 12 metres – to allow this to increase to almost three times of that will not be without consequences to the region.

“Aside from the environmental and community issues these changes will make, the potential to flood the market with such large numbers of dwellings will lessen the appeal of Noosa to investors and investors are important to keep the rental market afloat – it’s all a fine balancing act and it’s important we get it right.”

Interest Rates

Rising interest rates continue to bite hard for anyone with a mortgage and, at the time of writing, are now sitting at 4.35 per cent which is a 12-year high. The November increase of 25 basis points was the 13th rate rise since May 2022 with further increases likely over the coming months.

While increasing interest rates are not a deterrent for many of Kirstie’s clients, she acknowledged that the continued increases are starting to impact those who need to finance their property purchase.

“Many of my clients are cash buyers and they remain active, but for people who need to finance such a large investment it is impacting their borrowing capacity and decision to buy with some choosing to hold out a little longer while they see what the market will do.

“The ripple effect of this can be felt down the line with properties staying on the market longer than they were 12 months ago.”

Location, Location, Location

Location is everything in property and the Noosa market is no different with Kirstie noting that properties that are close to the water or have great views continue to move quickly.

“Overall, we are seeing properties stay on the market longer, but savvy buyers are still ready to transact if the right property comes up – it’s a waiting game they are prepared to play.

“If the right property comes up, more buyers are also willing to consider renovations as they are realising that finding the perfect home in the perfect Noosa location may not happen.

“If the location is right, they are increasingly prepared to consider a full or partial renovation which is creating opportunities for project managers and designers.”


Despite interstate migration slowing Kirstie says people are still looking to call Noosa home.

“Migration has definitely slowed, and I am seeing a gradual shift in enquiry from people wanting to live here permanently, to those who are wanting to invest in the area,” Kirstie said.

“For investors, being able to rent a property is an important factor when deciding whether to purchase. Critical to their decision making is the ability for that property to be rented so either having, or being able to secure, a permit to holiday let is of critical importance.”

Land Tax

Taking many residents by surprise was the hefty rate rises property owners received following the revaluation of properties in the Noosa Shire by the Valuer General.

Around 22,203 properties, with an estimated total value of approximately $21,283,394,000, saw many property owners hit with rate increases of up to 100 per cent and higher, leaving many unsure of how to fund such significant increases.

As we close the book on 2023 Kirstie said while there were some big issues for Noosa to consider in the new year, the area remained a desirable and coveted location.

“Noosa is a beautiful part of the world and holds a very special place in people’s hearts,” she said.

“Whether you live here, invest here or simply come to visit, it is up to all of us to do our part to preserve what makes the area special.”

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