Shadforth: Now is the ideal time to invest

THE decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia to lower interest rates, coupled with the banks' willingness to pass on the savings means that, for lots of business operators on the Sunshine Coast currently leasing, it is a great time to buy their own premises.

Depending on the set-up of your lending criteria and how your loan is structured with your bank it can mean in some instances paying off the mortgage on your business premises, which will save money in comparison to current rental rates.

The residential market has seen big improvements, with Brightwater, Peregian, Parklands and Pelican Waters housing estates contributing to growth.

As construction continues to drive the employment market, demand for housing maintains a steady momentum.

Additionally, the Sunshine Coast Public Hospital and other infrastructure improvements are impacting the region's growth.

Although this hasn't translated across the board in commercial product, there are signs of improvement.

We are realistic in expectations and are forecasting prices will start to improve closer to the time of the hospital's completion mid-2016, when it is at full operation and supply and services businesses in the medical precinct are operational.

Increased activity and focus on driving and diversifying employment and job opportunities will continue to benefit the region.

Lower fuel prices, a lower Australian dollar and a slowing of wages growth continue to be topical and, in conjunction with lower interest rates, will continue to instil business confidence.

The combination of lower cost of entry into the market, and the positive forecasts of growth due to demand increasing in the next few years in the region, are positive reinforcers that now is the perfect time to invest in commercial property, whether it is as an occupier or an investor.

Michael Shadforth is the director of Ray White Commercial North Coast Central