From its early history, Mooloolaba has always been known for the simple pleasures it affords its residents and visitors. Potentially getting its name from the Aboriginal word ‘muli’, meaning a snapper fish, Mooloolaba has for a long time been associated with a relaxed lifestyle of fishing and lazing by the ocean.
Today, Mooloolaba is a much-loved retreat along the busy corridor that connects Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast with northern destinations like Noosa Heads.
Not attracting such high prices as Noosa Heads, Mooloolaba is still viewed as one of the most sought after areas to buy within the Sunshine Coast, and its performance in the market only confirms this.
Data from realestateview.com.au reveals that the median sale price of standalone homes in the area not only weathered the nation-wide declining trend but in fact bucked the trend altogether. House median sale prices increased 20 per cent over the past 12 months, from $700,000 to $840,000, while the median sale price of units increased by 11 per cent over the same period, from $384,000 to $426,000.
Dan Hawes from First National Real Estate grew up on the Sunshine Coast and is well aware of just how special this nook of the country is. Dan lived overseas for 12 years, experiencing a great range of cultures, even living with Inuit communities in the Canadian Arctic and backpacking across Asia. He returned to the Sunshine Coast with his wife because of the lifestyle it offered. Taking on a new career in real estate, Dan has watched how Mooloolaba has maintained its popularity during the nationwide property slump.
“Due to Mooloolaba’s spectacular location, weather, relaxed lifestyle and overall safety, people are flocking here by the droves and in my opinion will continue to do so,” says Dan. “Although house prices in Mooloolaba are high when compared to some other Sunshine Coast suburbs, they are still very affordable to many buyers. For example, many people are moving up from Sydney or Melbourne, selling their property down there and with the proceeds are able to afford a far superior property here for the same amount of money.
“I believe this is one of the reasons the Sunshine Coast in general and more specifically Mooloolaba has been somewhat protected from ‘market drops’ that have affected other parts of the state and indeed other parts of the country.”
So who is living in Mooloolaba at the moment? ABS data reveals that approximately 34 per cent of the population is over 50 years of age, while younger age ranges sit somewhere between 12-18 per cent of the area’s population. Despite an older population and the fact that the highest proportion (19 per cent) of the population are on a weekly wage of between $1,500-$2,500, the majority of residents in Mooloolaba are renting.
The top five areas of employment for those living in the area are in construction, healthcare, accommodation and food services, retail, and professional scientific and technical services (thanks presumably to the University of the Sunshine Coast, which is just around the corner).
Planners are well aware of the fact that Mooloolaba has little room to expand, and are also trying to address the increasing traffic seen by those passing through the area.
As part of the Mooloolaba Transport Corridor Upgrade (MTCU), the Sunshine Coast council is expanding roads, such as Brisbane Road and Walan Street, to ease congestion and open up opportunities for future use of the corridor, such as light rail.
In terms of lifestyle and attracting visitors, the council is also injecting $3.8 million into the Mooloolaba Holiday Park as well as making significant upgrades to the local boardwalk, which promises to cement Mooloolaba’s position as a key tourist destination. This reflects the council’s awareness that 58 per cent of visitors to Mooloolaba are from Australia and that Queenslanders make up the vast majority of this percentage, so local amenities and short term holiday attractions are vital for the local economy.
“When you look at the ‘supply and demand’ theory, Mooloolaba is completely built out with no more land to develop and people are continuing to move here so, obviously, prices go up,” continues Dan. “Since there is no more land in Mooloolaba, people are buying houses now just for the land then knocking the house down to build the house that they want, and it is still affordable, especially to an interstate buyer. I think if you are fortunate enough to live or invest in Mooloolaba you should feel confident that this internationally recognised destination will continue to increase in value.”
Lead image: Ari Bakker