Gold Coast, Australia
The modern history of Gold Coast, a seaside city on the East Coast of Australia, began nearly a century ago with the construction of a bridge, a road extension and a hotel in the late 1920s. The holiday crowds flocked here, igniting one of the world’s great beach culture explosions.
The ensuing decades saw a number of growth spurts. The region fast became a haven for surfers as well as a popular vacation destination for servicemen after World War II. Speculators saw opportunity and moved in. As the story goes, so much land changed hands between buyers and sellers by the late 1940s that local journalists started calling the area the Gold Coast. The name stuck. It also turned out to be an apt description for the region’s golden sand beaches and 300 days of sunshine a year.
The area, some 58 miles south of Brisbane, is surrounded by mountains, national parks, wetlands and remote back country. Tourism is the main industry, built on its 25 miles of coastline, subtropical climate and entrepreneurial spirit. Two international airports are less than an hour’s drive away.
Infrastructure projects have buoyed the Gold Coast housing market. The latest are targeted to the 2018 Commonwealth Games, one of the largest multi-sport events in the world. The city will be hosting thousands of athletes from 70 Commonwealth nations, territories and island states.
Buying homes at auction is an alternative to traditional real estate sales transactions. Properties are subject to a confidential reserve price, and once the auctioneer’s hammer falls, the winning bid is binding. There’s no cooling-off period.
Whether buying at auction or through an estate agent, international real estate investors require prior approval from the Australian government. Foreigners are encouraged to build from the ground up to increase the supply of new housing stock.
Where seaside shacks and cottages once sat, today’s real estate offerings include opulent high rise apartments, executive mansions and canal front estates. Those seeking resort-style living find it in master-planned communities with championship golf courses, tennis and deep-water harbors for mega-yacht mooring.