The upcoming Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast means the city is expected to set a gold medal pace in the property sector this year.

According to CoreLogic’s December regional market update, Gold Coast home values continue to trend upwards, having increased on an annual basis since mid-2013.

The median value for a Gold Coast house, as at the end of September, was $579,753, up 6.6 per cent from last year while unit values have risen 4.7 per cent, to $379,634.

Nathan Birch, property expert and co-founder of Binvested is predicting a 10 to 20 per cent growth this year.

“I am seeing the same thing which was happening in Sydney in 2012 happening in the Gold Coast and the fringe suburbs of Brisbane right now. The buyer activity there is very strong.”

He said the Gold Coast is set to play a huge amount of catch-up after the market dropped off post GFC.

Property expert and newspaper columnist Haesley Cush shares the optimism but with caution – perhaps waiting to see the level of interest in next week’s Ray White Auction Event (to be held on Sunday, January 29).

“After a tough ten years for the Goldy, the next two are shaping up to be thumpers,” he said.

“But the proof of the pudding is in the eating and it all will be revealed at the end of the month as to whether the predictions are right or whether they are way off.”

While capital cities have seen strong growth over 2016, regional areas have not been as fortunate.

Regional areas dependent on industries such as mining have not recovered but ‘lifestyle cities’ such as the Gold Coast as seen a surge of interest from buyers.

RP Data figures for 2016 reveal the Gold Coast has seen the best recovery in Queensland in its housing sector, and industry experts expect the momentum to continue.

CoreLogic RP Data’s head of research Tim Lawless said it appeared lifestyle markets like the Gold Coast were back in favour with buyers as they perceived them to offer good value currently.

Experts are predicting the market will peak in 2017-2018 with ‘sensible, subdued growth’ to follow.

In 2016, the best performing Gold Coast suburbs were Miami, Palm Beach and Mermaid Beach which each experienced a 6% growth in media price.