Interview: Tom Offermann, Tom Offermann Real Estate
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Interview: Tom Offermann, Tom Offermann Real Estate

“At this rate, investors will double their money every five years.”

By Terry Christodoulou
Thu, May 6, 2021 12:07pmGrey Clock 2 min

Tom Offermann has spent the past 35 years developing peerless market knowledge of Noosa and Sunshine Coast environs. 

He’s also a man who lives and breathes the lifestyle he proudly sells – often found in his kayak on the Noosa River. 

We caught up to discuss the future in light of COVID, ‘southern’ sea-changers and a market that’s ultimately surging. 

Kanebridge News:  Noosa was recently marked as Queensland’s most expensive property market, thoughts on securing such a title?

Tom Offermann: It’s been named the most expensive shire in the state, but I think it’s more accurately described as the most valuable in the state.
KN: What makes it the most valuable?
TO: Noosa shire has an annual return on investment over 15% — which is incredible. However, some of the shire’s most sought-after locations, such as Noosa Sound, have been averaging capital growth of more than 15% per annum for the past 46 years.  

KN: How did Noosa fare coming out of the pandemic?

TO: [In 2021] we were wondering if it might slow down a bit after the summer holidays, but the market for the first quarter has outperformed every quarter of 2020.  Auctions are achieving approximately 90% clearance rates, property listings remain tight and an abundance of buyers are waiting for the right property.

KN: Is this driven by those ‘southerners’ looking for a sea / tree-change?

TO: The sea and tree-change effect was the strongest ever and Noosa was one of the greatest beneficiaries, recording high sales volumes plus the highest price gains in Queensland, with houses recording 15.4% annual growth and a median price surpassing $900,000.

KN: So is it now too late for those wanting to get into the market?

TO: No, it’s never too late. My advice is to buy in the best location your budget allows. In the current market it’s important to be ready to act fast and have pre-approval if you require finance, because a property can sell very quickly, sometimes never hitting the market at all.

KN: How does Noosa compete against other coastal ‘lifestyle’ regions? 
TO: Noosa has long been known as the jewel in Queensland’s crown, which is a result of superior local governance, the shire’s natural resources and climate — which combine to underpin a property market that has more potential than any others in the country. It’s highly desirable and very tightly held.

KN: What do you say to the naysayer’s who claim the Sunshine Coast’s growth isn’t sustainable – will the market continue to ascend? 

TO: Of course it will. Property value is never a straight line graph, however, you can always count on it pointing upwards long-term. At this rate, investors will double their money every five years, something I have experienced throughout my career.


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Home prices declined at a faster pace in May in major cities, while other data show a mixed picture for the world’s second-largest economy

Tue, Jun 18, 2024 3 min

China’s broken housing market isn’t responding to some of the country’s boldest stimulus measures to date—at least not yet.

The Chinese government has been stepping up support for housing and other industries in recent months as it tries to revitalize an economy that has  continued to disappoint  since the early days of the pandemic.

But fresh data for May showed that businesses and consumers remain cautious. Home prices continue to fall at an accelerating rate, and fixed-asset investment and industrial production, while growing, lost some momentum.

“China’s May economic data suggest that policymakers have a lot to do to sustain the fragile recovery,” Yao Wei, chief China economist at Société Générale, wrote in a client note on Monday.

The worst pain is in the property sector, which has been struggling to deal with oversupply and weak buyer sentiment since 2021, when a multiyear  housing boom ended . The market still doesn’t appear to have found a floor, even after Beijing rolled out its most aggressive stimulus measures so far  in mid-May  in hopes of restoring confidence.

In major cities, new-home prices fell 4.3% in May compared with a year earlier, worse than a   3.5% decline in April, according to data released Monday by China’s National Bureau of Statistics. Prices in China’s secondhand home market tumbled 7.5%, compared with a 6.8% drop in April.

Home sales by value tumbled 30.5% in the first five months of this year compared with the same months last year.

“This data was certainly on the disappointing side and may ring some alarm bells, as May’s policy support package has not yet translated to a slower decline of housing prices, let alone a stabilisation,” said Lynn Song, chief China economist at ING.

Economists had also been hoping to see a wider recovery this month after Beijing started  rolling out  a planned issuance of 1 trillion yuan, the equivalent of $138 billion, in ultra-long sovereign bonds in May. The funds are designed to help pay for infrastructure and property projects backed by the authorities. Investors  gobbled up  the first batch of these bonds.

Monday’s bundle of economic data, however, underlined how the country still isn’t firing on all cylinders.

Retail sales, a key metric of consumer spending, rose 3.7% in May from a year earlier, compared with 2.3% in April, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. While the trend is heading in the right direction, it is still a relatively subdued level of growth, and below what most economists believe is needed to kick-start a major revival in consumer spending.

The expansion in industrial production—5.6% in May compared with a year earlier—was down from April’s 6.7% increase. Fixed-asset investment growth, of which 40% came from property and infrastructure sectors, also decelerated, to 3.5% year-over-year growth in May from 3.6% in April.

Key to the sluggish economic activity data in May—and China’s outlook going forward—is the crisis in the property market, which has proven hard for policymakers to address.

The property rescue package in May included letting local governments buy up unsold homes, removing minimum interest rates on mortgages, and reducing payments for potential home buyers. It also included as its centerpiece a $41 billion so-called re-lending program launched by the People’s Bank of China, which would provide funding to Chinese banks to support home purchases by state-owned firms.

The hope was that by stepping in as a buyer of last resort for millions of properties, the government would manage to mop up unsold housing inventory and persuade wary home buyers to re-enter the market. In turn, Chinese consumers, who have  most of their wealth  tied up in real estate, would feel more confident about spending again, thereby lifting the overall economy.

But the size of the re-lending program wasn’t big enough to convince home buyers, said Larry Hu , chief China economist at Macquarie Group. “Meanwhile, their income outlook also stays weak given the current economic condition,” he said.

For the property market to bottom out and reach a new equilibrium, mortgage rates, which stand at around 3-4% in China, need to be as low as rental yields, which are currently below 2% in major cities, said Zhaopeng Xing, a senior China strategist at ANZ. He said that a large mortgage rate cut will need to happen eventually.

The other key part of China’s push to revive growth revolves around the manufacturing sector, with leaders  funnelling more investment  into factories to boost output and reduce the country’s reliance on foreign suppliers of key technologies.

The result has been a surge in production. But with domestic consumption not strong enough to absorb all those goods, many factories have been forced to cut prices and seek out more overseas buyers.

Data released earlier this month showed that  Chinese exports rose  faster in May than the month before.

However, the export push is  butting into resistance  as governments around the world worry about the impact of cheap Chinese competition on domestic jobs and industries. The European Union last week said it would  impose new import tariffs  on Chinese electric vehicles, describing China’s auto industry as heavily subsidised by the government, to the point where other countries’ automakers can’t fairly compete.

The U.S.  has also hit  Chinese cars and some other products with hefty duties, while countries including Brazil, India and Turkey have opened antidumping investigations into Chinese steel, chemicals and other goods.

Beijing says such moves are protectionist and that its industries compete fairly with global rivals.