Suburb review: Kawana Waters, QLD (Part 2)

In our previous post we shared Kawana Waters’ profile—its demographics, including family composition, industry of employment, country of birth, and the numbers on the suburbs of Kawana Waters.

Suburb review: Kawana Waters, QLD (Part 1)

In this post we continue profiling the suburbs in Kawana Waters by providing you with the facilities available on the area as well as the current infrastructure projects.

The Facilities

Kawana waters facilities

Kawana Shoppingworld, located on the main arterial road that connects Mooloolaba to Caloundra, is a major shopping centre in the region that’s currently undergoing redevelopment. The redevelopment involves adding 70 specialty shops in approximately 9,000 sqm additional retail space.

Kawana Shoppingworlds currently houses Coles, Woolworths, Big W. Aldi will soon open as redevelopment is targeted to finish middle of 2014. This project is also expected to generate 570 jobs in the retail and construction industry, according to Kawana Shoppingworld’s website.

The largest shopping centre of the region is the Sunshine Plaza at Maroochydore, located 10 minutes from Kawana and this includes all of the major stores, hundreds of specialty stores as well as an entertainment precinct with cafes, restaurants and a major cinema complex.

Parks are sprawled around Kawana—there’s Stockland Park and Quad Park in Bokarina, Boardstone Park and Lake Kawana in Birtinya, Neisler Park and Espanade Park in Warana, and Lauri Hutchison Park in Wurtulla.

Other attractions and facilities include Kawana Aquatic Centre and skate park, Lake Kawana Community Centre.

Hospitals in the area includes Kawana Private Hospital in Birtinya and nearby health centres are Mooloolaba Medical Centre (3 kms), Caloundra Private Hospital . The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital is 11 kms away.  The new Sunshine Coast University Hospital opened with an initial capacity of 200 beds in November 2013.

There are a large number of primary schools in the area as well as several secondary schools.  Both public and private schools are available.   The University of the Sunshine Coast University is the major tertiary centre in the region and has an extensive range of courses.  It continues to expand and currently has in excess of 9000 students, aiming for 12000 by 2015.

The Projects

It’s clear to see this area is growing and contributing to the growth are three major projects:

Health Precinct

Sunshine Coast University Hospital

The new Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) is scheduled to open in last 2016 and will initially provide 450 beds and a range of healthcare services and facilities to residents on the Sunshine Coast.  It’s expected that construction will bring in about 2000 workers to the area and then upon opening the hospital will have about 3500 staff.   The hospital will increase services, with expectations that 738 beds will be open by 2021, with around 6000 staff to support them.  If you’re not familiar with hospital sizes – that’s pretty big!

An it’s not just the SCUH that will bring people to the coast, it’s the associated private hospital which has already opened in late 2013 with a capacity of 200 beds, research precinct, academic services of this major tertiary teaching hospital and commercial developments.

The site for the SCUH is a 20 hectare greenfields site located on the corner of Kawana Way and Lake Kawana Boulevard.

Maroochydore Airport Expansion

The Sunshine Coast Airport expansion project is another major infrastructure project that could contributes to the growth of Kawana Waters.

The $420-million project is expected to provide 5,000 new permanent jobs upon its completion. The runway is expected to be completed in 2020. A new passenger terminal will then be built. Amongst the benefits of this massive project are: easy access to growing markets and new domestic and international destinations, increased freight capacity, stimulus to the Sunshine Coast’s tourist and commercial base—all of which work as main driver for investment in the area.

Maroochydore Town Centre

A regional arts and entertainment centre, a transit plaza, an amphitheatre and civic plaza, an urban open space, 4000 new dwellings within the principal activity centre—all in a 150,000-sqm massive floor space plus 65,000sqm retail space.

To say that the Maroochydore City Centre development is massive would be an understatement. With the announcement of this project as a priority development area,  Maroochydore is poised to become the business, community, and employment hub of the Sunshine Coast.

The Property

birtinya

Given that we are dealing with quite a group of suburbs in this area, the property opportunities here are wide and varied.

Suburbs like Birtinya offer new style apartments and houses close to the hospital precinct and property investors are definitely being targeted by developers and investment companies promoting the benefits of investing in new apartments and new houses in this location.  There are a lot of ‘off the plan’ deals being promoted here as high cashflow and high depreciation opportunities.  There are some properties that have been built already and to be honest, sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference!  (Hint: Look for the artist impressions images and the references in the advert to ‘soon to be built’ and the like!).

My words of advice if you are interested in buying brand new or off the plan, really assess the pricing of the property to ensure you’re not paying over market value, look at the finished product as if it were right there now and assess your numbers without taking into account any form of capital growth and assess the property location as you would any other property, is this a location that is likely to see growth? Does it have the services and facilities that renters want and that drives price growth?

Of course, off the plan is not for everyone and there are many options for established housing, both new and old and in a variety of budgets in the various suburbs around Kawana Waters.  As always, it’s a matter of working out what your particular goals are for this property within your overarching investing strategy and then finding the property that will meet those goals.

My advice on established property is to look at property at or below the median value of a suburb when you are looking to invest.  I’d also stick with your ‘meat and potatoes’ style of property, unless your strategy is to get into high-end executive rentals.  I would rather own several meat and potatoes style properties of different types in different locations than to put all of my money into one prestigious property.  This is in line with that wise old investment principal of diversification.

Next post we will share not one—but two case studies on different properties in Kawana Waters.

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