Lifestyle is the Sunshine Coast's biggest attraction
THE Sunshine Coast is among the best places in Australia to live ... and that comes from the man who told us cutting out smashed avocado and coffee was the best way to save for a house.
Today, Bernard Salt makes the point that in a fast-changing world in which we are told Australia is in danger of being in a housing bubble, it remains the best place to invest.
Five years ago we didn't know how to pronounce quinoa, the Demograhics Group managing director told the Property Perspectives seminar at Maroochydore.
Now the grain crop is a part of our diet. It represents the way Australia has changed ... from the white Anglo colonial outpost of the 1950s to a more Mediterranean way of life.
As well as being the most multi-cultural country in the world we are the most adaptable.
This change is being driven by lifestyle. And the Sunshine Coast is well on the way to being Australia's premier lifestyle city.
"The region is going through a transformation,'' Mr Salt said, "and not just the Maroochydore CBD.
"A critical mass has been reached.
"Anyone thinking about investing in real estate should ask is Australia a good place to invest your capital, time, future, mortgage, your life.
"Australia GDP (gross domestic product) is 14th in the world with a population of 25 million.
"There is no country above us with a lesser population.
"By 2028 we will have lifted to 12 ... above Russia and Spain.
"Income will lift and we can convert it into property.
"I'd rather than have my money in Australia rising, than Spain or Russia falling.''
Looking back to the 1954 census when Australia had a population of eight million, the top 20 cities included Kalgoorlie and Broken Hill.
Now, 60 years later, the lifestyle areas of the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Cairns have come from nowhere to be firmly placed in the chart.
At number 9, the Sunshine Coast is above Geelong, Wollongong, Townsville, Greater Hobart and Darwin.
"The common denominator is lifestyle,'' Mr Salt said. "Australians have discovered it and want it.
"By 2050 another 250,000 will be added to the Sunshine Coast's population.''
Australia is Mediterraneanising, he said, not just in their food but in the design of their houses.
And these designs are widespread, from Dubbo to Doonan.
Four bedrooms with guests being invited into the kitchen, living and alfresco dining areas. No longer the sitting room at the front with the sideboard and silverware on show and the bedrooms at the back.
The widespread building of these homes shows Australians are very aspirational.
People are looking for a better, more authentic lifestyle - away from cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.
We have lost faith in big religion, in major political parties, in the unions, certainly this week in big business.
"It must be local, regional, authentic,'' Mr Salt said. What place would deliver that ... especially if you can connect in an authentic way?''