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With stunning beaches, friendly locals and a laidback atmosphere, it's no secret that the Gold Coast is one of Queensland's most desirable places to live and work.

It's a factor which has resulted in the incredible growth in the region over the past few years, resulting in expanding communities throughout the city. 

However, which such growth, comes certain challenges in terms of infrastructure and property development on the Gold Coast – one example being the impending shortage of new apartment stock as predicted by Urbis' Gold Coast Apartment Essentials report.

The Gold Coast is one of the 12 regions encompassed in the Queensland Government's South East Queensland Regional Plan (SEQRP), which estimates that almost one million new homes will be needed by 2041 to support the growth in the local population. With a review of the SEQRP currently taking place, we're taking a look at growth on the Gold Coast and what the plan will address. 

Providing for a growing region 

Situated in southeast Queensland, there is plenty to entice those interested in Gold Coast property investment, from the renowned Surfer's Paradise and a lively city centre to access to two international airports. It is also a place which has undergone a noticeable population growth from an estimated 436,671 residents in 2005, just over to half a million people (555,608) as of 2015. 

Now Australia's sixth-largest city, the Gold Coast has one of the country's fastest-growing populations, according to the city council. The Gold Coast City Reputation Strategic Plan also outlines the potential for the city to provide over 56,000 jobs by 2023, thanks to economic growth in industries such as education, ICT, health and advanced manufacturing. 

Given this activity throughout southeast Queensland, the SEQ Regional Plan will account for the growing knowledge economy and employment, as well as the development of infrastructure to meet changing demands. 

"The population in SEQ is expected to increase by approximately 2 million people to 5.3million by 2041, creating a need for 900,000 more dwellings. Each year, this will bring about 80,000 extra residents needing 36,000 homes across the region," Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Jackie Trad said in a recent media release.

"We expect to see an increase in smaller households, due to more young people entering the market, more single-person households and older people downsizing. This will create a need for more diversity in housing and affordable living."

Reviewing the SEQRP

The SEQRP was first put in place in 2005, with the current version dated from 2009-2031. Amendments were made in late 2013 after public consultation, granting local governments the scope to consider potential tourism, sport and recreational development beyond the Urban Footprint. 

This manifested in the removal of some restrictions on development, and as well as the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning being relieved of their role as a referral agency for certain assessments. 

According to the Department's website, the current review of the SEQRP is a response to the changing nature of the region's population size as well as demographics. The focus will be on developing a range of affordable living for communities as well as boosting employment growth throughout southeast Queensland. 

"South East Queensland is a fantastic place to live and a new regional plan will help us to shape the way we grow, live, connect and prosper as a sustainable community, while still maintaining our enviable lifestyle," said Ms Trad. 

"A growing and changing population, when managed properly through a regional plan, can drive change for the better, however, there are important planning decisions to be made." 

If you're looking to get involved in Gold Coast property investment during this exciting time, the team at Ray White Projects Gold Coast can help to ensure that you have the support and knowledge you need to make the right next step. To find out more, don't hesitate to contact us today.