How the classic beach house is being reinvented

Coastal living is the new Australian dream with house hunters flocking to beachside locations and searching for modern beach homes.  

Coastal properties are among the most commonly viewed by buyers on However, new developments are changing the concept of the Australian beach house with the offer of a coastal lifestyle coupled with modern convenience. While beachside houses are sometimes seen as holiday homes for those looking for respite from the big cities, plenty of Australians have been opting for a permanent sea change for some years now.

However, this trend has been supercharged during the COVID pandemic with people drawn to the beachside lifestyle. data reveals the seaside destinations Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast were both among the top search locations for house hunters from March to September.

Meanwhile, leading into the June quarter, Queensland experienced the highest growth in terms of new residents, mainly driven by people moving from the south, according to the chief economist at, Nerida Conisbee.

“Movement from the southern states of NSW and Victoria into Queensland was significant,” Conisbee says.

“Queensland gained 4,000 people from NSW and 2,100 people from Victoria. It was the state that gained the most from interstate migration. And the Queensland locations where we are seeing the most search from Victorians on are popular holiday destinations like the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.’’

During the pandemic, some of these areas had considerable price growth. Leading up to the June quarter, Gold Coast was a particularly strong performer, according to Conisbee.

“The median price for houses in Surfers Paradise has jumped 24% (in this time period),” she notes.

Reinventing the beach house

With so many people flocking to the beach to live, not just holiday, it appears the days of the humble beach shack may be numbered.

Instead, buyers are looking for beach homes that are more contemporary, according to Andrews Projects sales manager, Sarah Andrews.

“When people think of beach houses, they think about family holidays — beach, ice creams and summer memories — and they envision fibro shacks,” Andrews says.

“But that’s something from a bygone era. Now, beach houses and apartments are where people want to live permanently. They are much more modern but still have that laidback beachside feel.” In the new developments popping up along Australia’s eastern coastline, sleek designs, open plan living and lightweight new-age materials are transforming the concept of the beach house.

A modern design

Andrews Project’s latest development, The Beach House at 4 Australia Ave, Broadbeach, is part of this new breed of beach houses that mixes beachside lifestyle with sophistication and everyday functionality.

“It’s coastal, light and beachy,” Sarah says. “It’s designed to be liveable and low-maintenance with finishes like natural timber flooring, stone bench tops and floor-to-ceiling double glazed windows. We’ve also included all the modern conveniences like two side-by-side car spaces and an additional storage rooms for all apartments.

“The design incorporates a private lift lobby as an added layer of security, giving you peace of mind that your apartment is lockable and safe. What’s really unique about Beach House is its corner positioning and location just 50 metres to the beach.”

Although beach-house design is evolving, some crucial aspects have stayed the same. Proximity to the beach, and a place to store bikes and surf boards are also still key, she says, especially with many people in search of house that offers beach lifestyle for the whole family.

“One thing that hasn’t changed is people still want living space,” says Andrews. “We want the big kitchen, a separate laundry, plenty of storage and a big balcony for entertaining. We want the room to create those life-long memories.”

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