The Looming Sting in the Sunshine Coast Property Market

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 12.00.37 PMFor a long time, the Sunny Coast has been a great location for holiday goers and property investors. It’s a strong market for those with enough extra cash to even own a holiday house or investment unit in Noosa and the surrounding suburbs, so that they could holiday cheaply and still receive an income on their investment.


The major influx of people moving to the area, along with a high tourism population, has seen some fairly significant infrastructure projects now being approved and underway. And understandably the property market has responded accordingly, with property prices starting to show a significant increase in value in the past 2 years.


After being up there recently, I have to say I wasn’t a real fan of Noosa as a holiday destination, but each to their own. I was there to research the location and really see what potential investing locations I could sniff out.


And typical of the SE QLD area, mother nature let us know who was in control. The weather was fairly ordinary, and then sunny, and then poured with rain, and then and then and then. Sounds like a scene from ‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’


But that wasn’t all that mother nature had in store for us. As a believer of global warming and an investor of property anywhere in the world I see opportunity, I must consider the effects of global warming.


Don’t worry, I’m not going to preach about the effects and how we should be living a cleaner life. I don’t even see it really affecting my life in any significant way. It will be a problem for our children increasingly and their children even more so.


But I do see a problem that may well affect Noosa and Tewantin in the near future. And if I am right, Noosa’s economy along with their property market will see a major correction. Meaning many will go bankrupt.


For the first time in history, the irukandji jellyfish has migrated south as far as the southern tip of Fraser Island. As of early January 2017, there were 9 reported stings on the southern tip of the island alone. Now irukandji follow the warm tides of the Australian east coast current and this year the ocean temps are higher than usual allowing them migrate further south than they have ever done before.


Now you may say, so what they are at Fraser Island? But jump onto Google maps and see how close the southern tip of Fraser Island is to Noosa. Its one headland away. Yeah, they are literally around the corner.


Already the media are saying that they are not sure if the stings on these nine people were from irukandji or another jelly fish. But the signs these people had are leading one way. And I am sure Fraser Coast Tourism is down playing this as Fraser Island is also a huge tourism destination.


Now for those who don’t know, an Irukandji has a sting 100 times as potent as that of a cobra and 1,000 times stronger than a tarantula. These jellyfish don’t muck around!


So let’s picture this, one person swimming in Noosa gets stung by one irukandji. It will hit the press but will be down played by the tourism board as another species. Then a second person is stung. Same thing happens. But what about when 20 people in one day get stung?


Noosa will look like a bad scene from Jaws, a mass exodus from the water. And a fear of EVER going back in.


How will that affect tourism numbers the following year?


The numbers could drop by two thirds overnight. Businesses would struggle the following year to afford to stay open. Commercial vacancies on Hastings street would increase significantly and property prices would plummet.


Now it may sound like I’m over dramatising the situation here, so ask yourself; if you were holidaying in Noosa and the day before twenty people had supposed irukandji stings, would you allow your children to go swimming at the beach? Or what if one of the people stung were your children? Would you back the following year?


I think we can safely safe that the answer is No!


You’d probably look at alternative solutions like the Gold Coast or the south coast of NSW.


This may well only affect the beachside or rivers edge suburbs but with over 2,000 jellyfish stings in one weekend in mid January, this could soon be a reality.    

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  • Laura van der Breggen May 24, 2017, 3:40 am

    I can definitely understand that mother nature can play a part in this. We once lived in Airlie Beach and if we had a crystal ball we should have sold when we left in 2012 but decided to hang on and rent our house out as we could get fantastic rent on it but that didn’t last an every year it is dropping down further and further. Crocodiles, Irukandji, tourism, horrible snakes and spiders, mining downfalls and now of course Ms Debbie – all of these play an impact however people still choose to live there – it’s a lifestyle choice but it’s not a place I would invest in again as it’s so up and down but I am surprised about the Sunny Coast. There is more to the Sunny Coast then Noosa it spreads west into the hinterland and south as far as Caloundra.
    I understand mother nature plays a part as I have seen it for myself since we rented our property out but how does she compete with let’s say the new hospital that has opened in Kawana which has brought in specialists doctors and their families from far and wide (in previous years people who have to travel down to Brisbane to see a specialist) as well as the creation of many jobs?

    Look forward to your response as just about to invest again on the Sunshine Coast !

    Thanks. Laura.

    • Todd May 31, 2017, 12:07 am

      Hi Laura,

      The main difference between Airlie, Cairns and Port Douglas with Noosa is the beach. The beach plays a huge part in the tourism for Noosa. There are waves and it has a beach culture, where as up north has boating culture. The resorts don’t cater as well for pool activities as they do up north either as everybody goes to the beach.

      Yes the hospital is a great thing and will help with jobs, but tourism may lose in years to come due to this. The way around this for Noosa is to adapt but land is short close to town to add a pool lifestyle etc…

      Pending where you were going to invest on Sunshine coast, the market has already jumped considerably… you’ve missed the boat

      Cheers, Todd

  • Ben April 23, 2017, 8:22 am

    Hi Tod,

    Great comment from Dr Gershwin in article the that Adrian referenced-

    “It makes me Nauseous how the public are being misinformed ” – Dr Lisa-Ann Gershwin

    She is absolutely spot on. It surprises me you are making absolutely subjective comments about something you have a hunch about ??.

    It is widely known that Noosa is one of Australia’s top holiday destinations, and for very good reason.

    Anyone can cast a negative image of a place based on erroneous information, and I believe that that’s what has happened with your piece.

    I’m sorry, but I think your opinion piece shot very wide of the mark indeed.

    Cheers tod.

    • Todd May 16, 2017, 3:48 am

      Hi Ben,

      Time will tell… but the lady who was stung in Mooloolaba may think differently to what you say.

      My Blogs are an opinion piece… and I do enough homework on them to know to make an opinion piece.

      Cheers Todd

  • Melissa March 22, 2017, 3:25 am

    I think it’s an excellent point that you make and not something that people consider when they invest. There needs to be more going for an area than one main source of income (in Noosa’s case, tourism). We cancelled our holiday to Ballina this summer because of all the shark attacks around the beach where we usually stay. Before this year, we’d gone every year for 5 years! It’s real, people in tourism in that area are suffering from it. Certainly made me think about looking at ALL the factors when next investing in any area. Thanks for the great post.

    • Todd April 6, 2017, 5:40 am

      Hi Melissa,

      Glad you enjoyed the read. Its definitely something that i would consider.

      Cheers Todd

  • Adrian March 21, 2017, 10:33 am

    Hi Todd. We all know how the media love a beat up story to scare the masses, and here is another one. There have been recorded sightings of suspected irukandji in the area dating back many decades. Here’s an article with a counter argument if you’d like a read.

    • Todd March 21, 2017, 10:10 pm

      Hi Adrian,

      I know there have been a sting here and there over the years but to have 9 in one area in one weekend is not the norm. And now they have had a sting as far south as Marochydore, way further south than Noosa. Hopefully it doesn’t happen as it will destroy their property market.

      Cheers Todd


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