An estimated 100,000 Australian residents live within gated communities ranging from resort style golf course estates to townhouse complexes.
“No longer are gated communities the preference of empty nesters or wealthy families,” said research fellow at Griffith University, Matt Burke. “Now they are becoming the preference of a whole range of groups.”
QM Properties are pitching their gated complex in Ormeau, The Sanctuary, to investors and first home buyers according to QM Properties Development Manager Glenn Rix.
This strategy has developed off the back of the competitive entry pricing and the developer paying the interest on the buyer’s mortgage for the first year.
“QM has initiated this offer to encourage first home buyers and investors to purchase in the complex,” said Glen “We have already had excellent feedback from current buyers as well as new prospects.”
Of the 42 villas in the complex, there are only 10 left.
“The Sanctuary’s entry price is from $330,000, which is very good value for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom villa in a gated community,” he said “Interior design has created a sophisticated, modern fitout that compliments the low maintenance lifestyle that The Sanctuary offers.”
The concept of gated communities is very popular globally, being imported from the US in the 80’s.
The first one in Queensland was Sanctuary Cove which was top of the range, with an opening celebration featuring Frank Sinatra and Whitney Houston.
“The first wave of gated communities were high end resorts followed by golf resorts like the Hyatt at Coolum,” said Glen. “But now we can offer the benefits of a gated community at an affordable price.”
The Sanctuary offers the two big ticks that buyers find appealing- security and facilities.
A study by the Faculty of Built Environment at the University of NSW revealed that gated communities were ‘a positive expression of the desire for individuals to exert greater control over living environments.’
‘They also help to reduce uncertainty, provide personal protection and shield the family and home from unwanted intrusion.’
Despite fears that gated communities turn homes into fortresses, the exact opposite was the case in the study. In fact, the residents were more likely to engage with their neighbours, watch out for each other’s homes, possessions and children.
‘There is evidence that the physical design and management structures assist in fostering a sense of community and common purpose among residents,’ (McKensie, 1994).
These studies also show that due to the shared recreational facilities, buyers felt that their property retained its value.
Boasting the comfort and security of a gated community, resident’s facilities include a swimming pool, barbeque area and lush landscape gardens.
“The Sanctuary has attracted both owner occupiers as well as investors due to the affordable and quality offering,” said Glenn. “There is a shortage of low maintenance orientated homes in the northern Gold Coast corridor.”
Security of investment is also an issue, as they ensure that homes are well maintained and gardens and landscapes are neat and tidy.
Gated communities are hardly new phenomena, as the Romans were the first to place walls around towns to protect the inhabitants.
“Gated communities represent a predictable investment as they are limited in number and offer security and privacy,” said Glenn.
The Sanctuary is the final stage of QM Properties Norfolk Village master planned development.