$40 million worth of property set to exchange hands in a single day

Up to $40 million worth of property is set to exchange hands in a single day next week, as investors and potential migrants head to Queensland to bid at one of the country’s biggest auction events.
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Buyers from Sydney and Melbourne will make up a significant part of the crowd at The Event next week, as investors and owner-occupiers look to capitalise on the Gold Coast’s thriving market.

Ray White Surfers Paradise holds the yearly auction event – one of the largest in – where it routinely auctions more than 100 properties in a single day. This year it will be held on Sunday, January 28.

Chief executive Andrew Bell said most of the interest so far had come from out-of-towners.

“If you asked me to use one word to sum up buyers at the moment I’d say: Sydney,” he said. “We’ve had about 50 per cent of people at open homes coming from Sydney.”

Investors and homemakers were turning away from the NSW capital, Mr Bell said.

“There are pure investors, looking to rent a property out for a return and they just think Sydney is too expensive. There’s good value for money here,” he said. “Then there’s the people who are exiting Sydney permanently for the Gold Coast.”

For a long time the glitter strip hasn’t been seen as a viable relocation destination, but Mr Bell believed that perception was shifting.

“There was a lack of higher-paying jobs and all of a sudden those jobs are now available,” he said. “The city has diversified significantly and there are a lot more high-paying jobs than ever before. Related: Whitest sand tagline torments beachside residentsRelated: Robot maid cleans, tidies, fetches drinksRelated: rated safe for property investment

“The economy has become very broad-based, where a few years ago we were more service industry and retail.”

This year the numbers are a bit shy of last January’s record 135 properties up for auction, but Mr Bell said the market had tightened since then. “With the high demand, they’re not being replaced as much as they’re being purchased.”

Mr Bell’s standout property this year was the Abbey of Roses, a sandstone convent built 127 years ago in Warwick, west of Brisbane.

The 19th century mansion is a little different to the usual Main Beach units and Sanctuary Cove mansions, but the vendors felt it would still be a good fit for The Event.

“It’ll be seen by thousands all around ,” owner Sonia Hunt said. “[The Event] is great for the exposure, they do a great job getting all those homes together.”

Ms Hunt and her husband spent the past eight years living in the 14-bedroom home, repairing it, and operating a bed and breakfast and function centre.

“Most of the old heritage homes are either owned by the government or privately owned so people can’t stay in them,” she said. “We didn’t plan to move out here forever. This was just our little adventure to come out here.”

After selling up, the Hunts plant to move back to the Gold Coast.

Selling agent Josh Thomas said auctions were already great at driving interest in unique properties, but The Event took that up another notch.

“I think at the end of the day you want the best possibility to tell people about a property as possible and there’s no better opportunity than The Event,” Mr Thomas said. “Being so unique the buyer’s going to be someone who embraces its history while taking it into the future.”