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Home Scouts - Buying An Investment Property Sunshine Coast With Granny Flat

The rise of tiny houses – how will granny flats shape Sunshine Coast’s property market?

The Queensland Government has recently announced immediate amendments to laws around the occupation of granny flats across Queensland, to respond to the current housing shortage.

For the next three years, lawfully established granny flats can now be occupied by anyone. Previously, the use of granny flats was restricted to only people within the same household as the main dwelling.

Will this mean the rise of granny flats on the Sunshine Coast property market, which is one of Queensland’s most expensive housing markets?

What are granny flats?

Granny flats (also known as secondary dwellings) are small self-contained living areas built on the grounds of an existing family home. They were given that title because families would primarily use those dwellings to accommodate their ageing parents or grandparents and still enable privacy when needed and provide an alternative option to aged care homes.

Under existing regulations across both Noosa Council and Sunshine Coast Regional Council Planning Schemes, Granny Flats (or secondary dwellings) must be smaller in size than the main dwelling, in particular:

  • Noosa Council specifies a maximum 65 m2 of internal floor area, maximum 2 bedrooms. 1 additional car park must be provided and infrastructure charges may apply.
  • Sunshine Coast Council specifies a maximum 60m2 (or 90m2 in the Rural Zone or Rural Residential Zone), be located on a traditional lot and be a maximum of 20 metres from the main dwelling.

They can’t be separately titled or subdivided from the main property and in addition until now they have not been able to be rented to someone outside the family unit.

What does this mean if you are buying your own home on the Sunshine Coast?

For home buyers of Sunshine Coast properties with an existing granny flat there is now potential to rent the granny flat independently to the main dwelling if it suited you. This can be great if you want to generate additional income from your own home and is a very cost-effective way to do so.

But it also means your neighbours can potentially do this too! And that you may have more neighbours than you ever anticipated before, more traffic from additional residents and more noise.

What does this mean if you are buying an investment property on the Sunshine Coast?

For buyers of investment properties on the Sunshine Coast, there is now the possibility (subject to approvals and zoning requirements) to generate even more income and greater yield from a property you purchase or own. Investors usually seek opportunities to add value through to their property and if they rented a granny flat out for say $250 per week, this means $13,000 per year in additional rental income. It also means the property has potentially a lot more value as it contains two liveable units rather than one.  And with the recent announcement by the Queensland Government of abandoning their new proposed land tax, this may only make Sunshine Coast properties even more appealing to investors.

As always there are many considerations to factor in, not the least of which is that the new law is in place for three years, after which it will be reviewed.

The future and how will this be managed?

These emergency planning laws are intended to alleviate some of the current housing shortage / crisis we’re experiencing. We support changes that enable those who are currently experiencing homelessness to find a much needed property to live in in this current rental crisis which doesn’t show signs of changing.

But as with any new planning laws, they need to be carefully managed to ensure that built dwellings and outcomes are aligned with the essence and community and environment in which they are built. Just how that will be enforced, only time will tell.

For more information

If you would like to discuss how these changes may impact you and your next Sunshine Coast property or investment, or would like assistance in finding your next Sunshine Coast home or investment property, we are here to help.

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