Noosa is finding it hard to sell its top priced real estate right now with prices falling.
Noosa Heads including Hastings Street and beachSo is now the best time to buy real estate in Noosa or take a cheap holiday there?
In 1992 Noosa real estate was cheap, and I moved from Adelaide to Eumundi in the Noosa hinterland to enjoy the weather and lifestyle. I rented a new home on 5 acres for $170 a week. We had ducks, kangaroos and Kookaburra’s in the back yard and rainforest at the back that was the boundary of the golf course.
In those days a lot of people living in Noosa were retirees from the South with money. A lot had built huge homes in the street.
That is what possibly gave the illusion that Noosa was a exclusive enclave and Hastings Street its centre. It also gave it the perception of Noosa accommodation being expensive. It is on Hastings Street. But Noosa is more than Hastings Street and people wanting cheap accommodation are beginning to discover that.
The reality is that it has always been a surfers mecca, and I saw plenty of kids in board shorts with surf boards in the dole ques in those days. Putting in their forms before heading out to catch a wave and spend the day on the beach.
So maybe part of Noosa was always Bogan. People that love to surf more than work will never be rich, but will always find Noosa irresistable.
The new reality hits Noosa real estate and Hastings Street
Today the reality is different. Noosa real estate, like Hastings Street rents were amongst the dearest in Australia.
Noosa is seen today as more than Hastings Street, and the high class accommodation and upmarket restaurants and boutiques that once dominated the precinct. Ansett has been attributed with making Noosa a destination for the wealthy, and their demise ten years ago probably has something to do with the changing demographics. Now the budget carriers dominate air travel, and are flooding Noosa with Families who want a budget holiday. And what’s wrong with that?
Noosa’s changing demographics
Low-cost airlines Virgin, Jetstar and Tiger are blamed for flying in budget conscieous travellers who don’t value the boutiques and high priced dining.
Shopkeepers have complained that Hastings Street, which used to be on par with the exclusive southern suburbs of Double Bay and Toorak, is being spoiled.
The once-pricey “resort wear” boutiques of Hastings St have been replaced with budget chain stores, surf shops and gelato bars. That seems a better fit with the reality of today. People simply don’t spend money like they used to on exclusive clothes and fine dining, or have time to spend a long holiday in one place. A week or two is plenty. This reality is possibly indirectly affecting Noosa real estate values as money is not as easy to get as it once was.
Changing Demographics is the new reality
The market for Noosa real estate has shifted, with Noosa now attracting a younger demographic of budget minded families. More visitors with less per head to spend. More home buyers without the incomes to support a super-sized mortgage.
Lets face it, the Baby boomers were in their 30′s and 40′s in the early 1990′s and now they are looking at cruises and becoming grey nomads.
More People visit Noosa now than ever before
In 2010 Noosa attracted a record 920,000 domestic and 149,000 international visitors, but they have shorter stays and they spent less.
“It’s the lingering effects of the global financial crisis and, with the rise of the dollar, it poses a lot of problems for Noosa and Australia in how we combat that,” Mr Cooper said.
The High retail rents in Noosa which are among the most expensive in the country, have also contributed to the ousting of small businesses by chain stores. And chain stores understand the demographics. The fact is my wife, who is still a nifty dresser, could never find anything she liked in Noosa’s Boutiques, and they were over-priced as well. She felt that the clothes were for older women, and as we all know, they are now 20 years older.
What’s important about Noosa to the tourist?
Its not the Hastings Street Shops. They are their to provide the tourists with what they what, not the other way round.
People come to Noosa for the weather, the beach, the surf, the National Park and the relaxed ambiance. When they are at the beach they have certain needs, and the shops on Hastings Street that satisfy that need will succeed. They need Noosa accommodation to be moderate to 5 star, depending on their budget.
So Noosa accommodation is more attractive for the tourist and the home buyer than ever. But if you are looking to open a shop for the well to do, maybe you need to look at the Gold Coast or Brisbane.