Sunshine Coast to boast Australia’s fastest internet

A bird’s eye view from Sippy Downs to the coastline.

A new high speed telecommunications submarine cable has been labelled a game changer for one Queensland region and has one residential developer investing millions.

The Sunshine Coast is sitting on a property boom, with the announcement of the cable attracting both interstate and international businesses.

Construction has begun on the $35 million submarine cable network project, which is expected to be in service by mid-2020.

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A Sunshine Coast Regional Council spokesman says they have already received more than 80 business leads since the announcement in September last year.

“Council has had a wide array of data centres interested in connecting to Australia’s fastest connection to Asia on the east-coast,” the spokesman says.

Cleighton Clark says Habitat Development Group is investing millions into the Sunshine Coast.

“Examples include financial institutions who have shown an interest in establishing a presence on the Sunshine Coast to take advantage of the cable infrastructure.

“In the short-term we expect a data centre operator to establish on the Sunshine Coast and with them, we will see the migration of high-value jobs in finance, banking and technology to the region.”

For 19-year-old Macca Reardon, who is one of the Sunshine Coast’s up and coming tech industry youth specialising in virtual reality, says it will create more jobs so young people will no longer have to move to the city for work.

The Sunshine Coast submarine cable announcement has generated more than 80 leads from the announcement and marketing campaign since September 2018.

“Most of my friends left school and went to uni in Brisbane, or tried to stay on the Coast, I think most people didn’t want to go to Brisbane, but they had to because that’s where the jobs were,” he says.

Upon completion Habitat Development Group will have added another $200 million gross value of residential properties to the Sunshine Coast, with a particular focus on Sippy Downs.

Habitat Development Group managing director Cleighton Clark says they are so confident in the area as a future residential, business and tech hub, that they will proceed with another three projects worth $75 million in the Sippy Downs region.

Clark says Habitat Development Group’s eight-storey, 72-apartment One Tree project will be completed this year and work is underway on another 104 units across two separate projects.

An artist’s impression of the Sunshine Coast cable landing station is set to be operational by 2020.

Apartments within the One Tree project start from $359,000 for two-bedrooms, and finish at about $470,000 for a three-bedroom.

Hotspotting property analyst Terry Ryder says opportunities to purchase new properties at that price point within that proximity to the beach are unusual.

“Sippy Downs has all the right fundamentals for future demand which would lead to property price growth,” Ryder says.

“It has a university campus and that is always a major piece of infrastructure that will attract investors and owner occupiers.”

Clark says, along with the coming infrastructure, Sippy Downs’ vacancy rate is exceptionally low, and the reason they have already delivered four, sold out apartment buildings.

Macca Reardon says the cable will enable youth to stay on the Sunshine Coast, rather than move to Brisbane.

“We continue to manage that portfolio and our vacancy for the past two years has been about 0 to 0.5%,” Clark says.

“It hasn’t been over 1% now for the past couple of years, which is obviously a very undersupplied market.”

The Sippy Downs local plan, which was updated in 2014 as part of the Sunshine Coast regional plan, nominated the town centre, next to the University of the Sunshine Coast campus as a major regional activity centre.

It is earmarked for significant retail, commercial and community activity and proposes a Sippy Downs Business and Technology Sub-precinct next to the Town Centre core and the University campus.

An artist’s impression of Habitat Development Group’s One Tree project.

Ryder says Sippy Downs has a lot of the elements that investors are looking for.

“It ticks a lot of the boxes we want to tick,” he says.

“It is a very, very high priority for investors that there be existing and new infrastructure, Sippy Downs has that.

“I see the Sunshine Coast as a hotspot at the beginning of a cycle really of good growth based on what is happening in the economy and when I start to drill down a bit more, I like the southern part of the Sunshine Coast in particular.

“It is one of the more affordable ends of the market, where there are some quality new developments and new communities emerging.”

Developer Cleighton Clark with Terry Ryder discussing Sippy Downs, which is earmarked as the Sunshine Coast’s next property hot spot.

Ray White Maroochydore director Dan Snowden says while the Sunshine Coast has a great lifestyle, it lacks well-paid, performing jobs.

“The submarine cable, in combination with the Maroochydore CBD expansion and the new airport runway … is really exciting for big international businesses to relocate and move their headquarters to the Sunshine Coast,” Snowden says.

“There’s great talk in the market about the fact that it’s coming and we know that business nationally are expressing interest in the new Maroochydore CBD to build a headquarters that will use the cable.

“From the residential point of view, it will be until these buildings start construction in the CBD, that will then start to see people move in locally.”

This article from the Courier Mail originally appeared as “Sunshine Coast to become home of fastest internet connection”.