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Why Upper Coomera offers strong growth prospects

November 27, 2023

When people think of the Gold Coast, they jump to Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Coollangatta. There’s a long list of the coastal suburbs that spring to mind before getting to Coomera and Upper Coomera, the two small suburbs just inland from Hope Island and its well-known waterways.

Of course families are acutely aware of Upper Coomera and Coomera. The latter is where John Longhurst bought 85 hectares of land back in 1974 and built the theme park Dreamworld, opening it seven years later. Since then the tourist attractions kept coming to the area. Further down the Pacific Highway, which dissects Coomera and Upper Coomera, there’s now the Village Roadshow owned and operated Warner Bros World and Wet n Wild Gold Coast.

While in the last five years Coomera and Upper Coomera have seen their median house values jump by 62.1% and 65.9%, the two suburbs represent incredible value compared to other areas in the Gold Coast, and the growth is expected to continue with one of the Gold Coast’s biggest transport improvements coming to the area.

We’ve taken a deep dive into the Coomera and Upper Coomera property market, what is there to do in the suburb, and the opportunities available to buy. 

What’s in Coomera and Upper Coomera?

Coomera was deemed a growth corridor by the Queensland Government way back in 2007 when they penned The Northern Growth Corridor Social Infrastructure Plan 2021, while The Gold Coast 2010 Economic Development Strategy identified Coomera as a major business hub in the Pacific Innovation Corridor.

“A strong social infrastructure network will be critical to support the economic development of this region,” the Economic Development Strategy read.

Part of the key call outs some 13 years ago were for a new $1.5 billion Coomera Town Centre precinct, which was to include a TAFE campus and schools, as well as police, fire and ambulance services, a health and government sub-precinct. The $470 million shopping centre component, a Westfield, was opened in 2018, conveniently located near the border of Coomera and Upper Coomera, serving both suburbs.

Westfield Coomera has some 59,000 sqm of retail across 140 stores. Westfield Coomera joined Coomera Square and Coomera City, which sit on the Upper Coomera side of the Pacific Highway. They act as the hub of Upper Coomera’s shopping and dining activities, with a full-line Woolworths and Dan Murphy’s as its anchor tenants, the Coomera Tavern, Dominos, and a further 10 food and beverage outlets. 

The Coomera Train Station, located next to the shopping precinct, takes just under an hour to get into the Brisbane CBD.

Mooted in the same Economic Development Strategy that planned the Coomera Town Centre Precinct was the Upper Coomera Aquatic Centre and the Coomera Library, which were both delivered in 2013 as part of the Upper Coomera Community Centre. Also part of the development was Abraham Park, a kids playground, next to the centre’s cafe.

The attraction for families to the area isn’t only the large blocks of land and house size (95% of houses have three bedrooms or more), but the educational facilities in the surrounding area. There’s the Coomera Springs and Coomera Rivers State Schools as well as Assisi Catholic College, Saint Stephen’s College, and Upper Coomera State College. The aforementioned TAFE also has a campus at the Coomera Town Centre, which TAFE calls their “creative hub”, offering courses from blockchain and cyber security to building design and screen and media. It has recording studios, digital video and editing suites, and the Black Box Theatre.

The three theme parks are no doubt the area's largest attractions. They draw around two million tourists to the area per annum. Ardent Leisure, owner of Dreamworld, said in their last financial report that they have around $50 million to $60 million set to be invested in new rides and attractions, the majority to be delivered across financial years 2024 and 2025.

Village Roadshow’s nearby Wet n Wild, has over one million visitors a year, and Movie World, which has 29 attractions including seven rollercoasters, sees around 1.5 million pass through its doors a year. 

What’s planned for Coomera and Upper Coomera?

The $1.5 billion Coomera Town Centre Precinct is still in development. Prominent Gold Coast developer Keylin and joint venture partner Kinstone Group are pushing on with a private hospital and comprehensive health precinct. The first stage of the masterplan will be the Foxwell Day Hospital which will have a GP clinic, day surgery theatres, pathology, and pharmacy services.

The biggest plan is in the transport infrastructure space. Sustainable transport within Coomera and Upper Coomera were gazetted in the Gold Coast City Transport Strategy 2031.

“We will work with the private sector and the State Government to ensure that new communities, such as parts of Coomera and Upper Coomera, are built around sustainable transport principles,” the report read.

“This will give new communities real transport choices, as they will have good bus and train services from the outset, and safe and connected pathways that encourage sustainable travel.”

The biggest transport infrastructure, arguably one of the largest the Gold Coast has ever seen which will prick the ears up of any property investor, is the Coomera Connector. The multi-billion dollar national and state funded project will connect Coomera to Loganholme in the north, which sits just south of Brisbane, and down to Nerang in the south.

The 45-kilometre, four-lane connector, referred to by locals as the second M1, has long been touted as a game-changing project for the area. The Pacific Motorway (M1), is currently Queensland’s busiest road. The key objective is to reduce congestion on the M1.

Stage one, which is the 16 kilometres from Coomera south to Nerang, was identified as the priority section of the Connector. It started construction in March this year, and expects to open progressively to traffic from late 2025. The remaining 29 kilometres of road which will run from Coomera toward the Brisbane CBD is currently in its planning phase. 

“Every milestone in the Coomera Connector’s construction puts us a step forward in getting tourists and Gold Coast locals home sooner and safer,” Queensland Premier Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said earlier this year.

“Every milestone in the Coomera Connector’s construction puts us a step forward in getting tourists and Gold Coast locals home sooner and safer. The Coomera Connector ties in with the M1, the new Hope Island train station and the broader active transport network – catering for the rapid growth this region is seeing.

“Queensland’s Big Transport Build is underpinned by transformational infrastructure like the Coomera Connector, which will change the way people travel to and from the Gold Coast.”   

Who lives in Upper Coomera?

As mentioned earlier, the populations of Coomer and Upper Coomera are predominantly families, over two thirds of the population in fact, higher than both the Queensland and Australian average.

There’s been a significant rise in single parent families due to the affordability factor in Upper Coomera compared to some of its coastal neighbours.

The majority of the population work as trades or technicians, while professionals and community and personal services workers make up a sustainable number of the workforce. The biggest industry residents of Coomera and Upper Coomera work in is the health industry.

As well as the infrastructure upgrades in Coomera and Upper Coomera, investors will be interested to see that more people are now paying more to rent in the areas. 

During the 2016 Census data collection, 83% of people were paying less than 30% of their household income on rent. That figure fell to 55% in 2021, a reflection of rental growth over the five years to 2021. Since 2021 rents have continued to trend upwards in South East Queensland, with investors seeing record returns.

The majority of population growth over the last five years has been in Coomera rather than Upper Coomera, leaving the latter to be the next to experience the population boom of its neighbour. 

Coomera’s population in 2021 was 20,205, up over 50% from when the Census data was collected in 2016. Over the same period, Upper Coomera rose a more modest 7.5%. Only 900 more homes were built in Upper Coomera between 2016 and 2021, compared to 2,500 in Coomera.

Where can I buy?

Gallery Group has two different house and land developments in Upper Coomera. The most recent release is Echo, just south of the Upper Coomera State College and the Wattle Hotel, the largest sports bar and hotel in the area.

Echo offers just 18 land lots ranging from 375 sqm to 696 sqm. There are a number of different types of Gallery Group products which home buyers and investors can have Gallery Group develop on the land. There’s the option of a traditional four-bedroom residence, more suited for families, or the popular investor products of co-living or dual-living houses.

Read more: Why Co-living is the best investment nowadays?

The development is called Echo because of its seamless connection between architecture and nature. 

Gallery also has the final opportunities available in Natura Upper Coomera, one of their largest masterplanned residential communities to date. The 3.2-hectare project at 155 Baileys Mountain Road has 45 three and four-bedroom townhouses, with just co-living townhouses remaining.

In a sign of confidence in the area, billionaire Bob Ell paid $177 million for the 161-hectare Coomera Quarter, where he will deliver over 4,000 homes.

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