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Bob Ell's Cobaki land could double in value by 2024 as demand for house lots far outstrips supply

BOB Ell, who’s made a billion out of property, well could be called Box Seat Bob in the wake of the latest planning tome. Canny Bob is sitting on thousands of blocks of land, potentially worth billions of dollars, at a time when all indications are that the Gold Coast is in for migraine-like supply headaches. 

The 192-page 2017 Shaping SEQ report predicts the Gold Coast will need more than 158,000 new houses, high-rise apartments, units, and townhouses by 2041, with more than 30,000 of those freestanding homes. 

Coomera, Upper Coomera and Pimpama (which the Housing Industry Association has labelled the nation’s No. 1 population-growth hotspot) are identified as the major areas into which the city can expand its supply of house lots. 

It seems the Leda camp has deduced that there’ll be no land left in those areas in seven years, with some of the land in the so-called urban footprint in those suburbs unable to be developed because of factors like flood concerns and koala corridors. 

It also believes that, at a very optimistic best, only 15,000 detached houses could be built in the city’s entire existing urban footprint. 

With few other options for supply, the Leda view is that going south for sites for freestanding homes might be the only choice. 

Bob’s boffins also have worked out that by 2024 prices for housing lots could well have doubled. 

They should know — lots in investor-driven Leda estates at Pimpama have been going up by $2000 month for the past four years. 

If that appreciation rate persists, a lot that cost $200,000 in 2013 and today sells for nearly $300,000 could cost been approaching $600,000 or so by 2024. 

The bottom line is that Bob appears to be sitting pretty for years to come. 

His Cobaki estate, a sprawling holding that he bought in 1994 and which sits behind the Gold Coast airport but actually is in NSW, is approved for 5500 lots. At today’s Pimpama prices, those lots would be worth $1.65 billion but that figure’s a major understatement. 

The Cobaki land is high, largely flat and overlooks the ocean and by the time it hits the market later next year the owner-occupier blocks are likely to start well north of $400,000, if not $500,000. 

That reflects that lots sitting below Cobaki, at Tugun and Bilinga, are starting today at around $500,000. 

Further south, behind Casuarina in northern NSW, Bob owns the giant Kings Forest holding which is approved for 4500 lots. 

An agent who has flagged a possible 2018 release of Kings Forest land already has more than 500 people on a buyer waiting list. 

Meanwhile, Box Seat Bob, who’s spent tens of millions on earthworks on his two trophy assets, apparently is getting plenty of knocks on the door from major players with big chequebooks who want all or part of Cobaki. So far, the Ell fish hasn’t bitten.

Source: Quentin Tod, Gold Coast Bulletin.

Tags: Bob Ell, Gold Coast, Property, Population Growth, Coomera, Upper Coomera, Pimpama

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