A dramatic change of social and economic demographics on the bay islands has made them an attractive place to work and live.
So says Simon Gordon of Island Life at Russell Island, a real estate business he said was booming along with island sales and rentals.
He and wife Kim opened the agency seven years ago and noted in that time a dramatic and positive change towards living, focussing primarily on Russell Island.
Simon attributed this upsurge to the ability to work from home, improved transport, low crime, the environment, well maintained rental properties and better access to the NBN via a secondary phone tower on the eastern side of Russell Island.
“The recent pandemic was a game changer,” he said.
“There was a lot of interest from the southern states and with Brisbane expanding, the islands have become a suburb – but one with space, affordability and a sense of community.
“It’s an easy commute and lots of people commute to Redland Bay or beyond. But there is also the chance to work from home.”
Simon said sales on the island had always been a “roller coaster” like most markets.
“The issue has been that there has been no baseline on land prices. But the higher sales have driven the baseline up.
“It is no longer boom or bust driven by bridge speculation. Houses have gone up 40 per cent since 2019 at least and have stabilised since the pandemic.”
Average prices for houses are between $400,000 and $500,000.
Simon said the rental market was also in high demand and the rent roll for his agency had increased by 35 per cent.
“People are no longer buying land and sitting on it. They are building,” he said.
“Solitary Homes for example has assisted people get on the housing ladder building a quality home. It’s great for first home starters and investors.
“And then there are people like Dan Golin (SMBI Chamber of Commerce) who has built a storage centre and retail offices.
“All but one of these have been leased before they were finished being built. There is a demand for commercial space locations here.
“A lot of people complain about development, but what draws people here is the environment.
“The marine park is also a huge draw for people and people are attracted to the community feel.”