Rise in price reflects Noosa's true value
LAND at Noosa Sound now sells for up to $5m but when Olivier Miller first worked in real estate you could pick up a lot for $22,000.
"I can remember, I was absolutely awestruck - this guy from Sydney came up and I thought he must have been very wealthy - that he could afford to buy two blocks,” she said.
"Then he built an enormous house on it. That was my very first sale...it's now worth somewhere near $1.8 million.”
Olivier moved to Noosa from Melbourne in 1979, working at Laguna Real Estate from 1983 before buying into the business in 1998. Back then the area now known as Noosa Sound was a series of mangrove islands in Noosa River.
Laguna Real Estate had established "by way of caravan” to sell Noosa Sound properties, Olivier said, but sales picked up and the fledgling business soon had its own office built at 1 Noosa Parade.
It now has offices at Noosaville, Tewantin and Gympie as well as Noosa Heads, and employs 40 people.
Reflecting on changes since 1983, she said people looking to buy in the area were now open to looking at anything from Coolum to Noosa, whereas Noosa Heads used to be the main drawcard.
The Noosa area, including the hinterland, had been mainly sought after as a holiday location whereas now people lived and worked here.
"You bought a holiday house here, to have holidays, and then you'd rent it out just to get a bit of money to pay for the rates,” she said.
Now the area has hospitals, schools, churches and other infrastructure.
"People now move here, and it's still a beautiful destination, but they live here and work here,” she said.
"In the initial days we attracted affluent buyers who would like to have a holiday house but now we attract first home buyers, we attract professional people and we attract retirees.
"There's something for everybody.”