Upper Coomera

Upper Coomera map

Pros

Things to consider

Midway between Brisbane and Tweed Heads

Possible difficulties connecting to the internet

Close to theme parks

No cinemas (although one is coming)

Lots of new house and land packages available

Rapidly growing, without much infrastructure support

Close to the M1

Distance to hospital

Excellent facilities, particularly for families

Distance to surf beaches and mountains

Convenience

Distance from Brisbane

59 km

Distance from Gold Coast airport

49 km

Distance from surf beach

32 km

Distance from hospital

18 km

Median price of 3 brm house

$400,000

Median cost to rent 3 brm house

$400/week

Overview

Upper Coomera is the largest centre of the Gold Coast Northern Corridor, and the most rapidly growing area of the Gold Coast.

It is located on the northern end of the Gold Coast, on the western side of the M1 Pacific Motorway. It borders Willow Vale in the north, the Coomera River on the south which separates it from Oxenford, and the Pacific Highway on the east which separates it from Coomera.

The area encompasses the localities of Kingsholme, Upper Coomera, Willow Vale and Wongawallan, and part of the locality of Cedar Creek. It is a  rural-residential area, with substantial rural areas, particularly in the north, although it has been increasingly urbanised in recent years.

It is particularly popular with young families, and those who are commuting to Brisbane for work.

Postcodes for this area are 4209 and 4210.

Convenience

  • 59 km from Brisbane City centre - about 45 minutes by car, and 1.45 hours by train and bus
  • 49 km from Gold Coast airport - about 45 minutes by car, and 1.45 hours by train and bus
  • 68.5 km from Brisbane airport - about 49 minutes by car, and 2.15 hours by train and bus
  • 18 km from Gold Coast University hospital - about 20 minutes by car, and 1 hour by train and bus
  • 26 km from Main Beach (the closest patrolled surfing beach) - about 32 minutes by car, and 1.45 hours by train and bus

People love living here because...

[this needs to be a narrative]

Proximity to Brisbane and Southport

Large houses on large blocks of land

Lots of things for families to do

What does it cost to live here?

[average cost to buy]

[average cost to rent]

Shopping centres

  • Coomera City Centre 
  • Upper Coomera Village 
  • The Hub
  • Brygon Creek Reserve Shopping Village

Recreation

Community

  • Upper Coomera Centre, incorporating a youth and community centre, library and aquatic centre
  • Upper Coomera School of Arts
  • Upper Coomera Shire War Memorial

Sport

  • Upper Coomera Aquatic Centre
  • Gold Coast Compound Indoor Skatepark 
  • Gullivers Coomera 

Parks

Education

Family Day Care

  • Bri's Family Day Care
  • Hillhouse Fun House Family Day Care
  • Lisa's Family Day Care

Preschools

  • Upper Coomera State College Preschool
  • Play and Learn Early Learning Centre Upper Coomera
  • C&K Highland Reserve Community Kindergarten
  • Coomera Anglican College Early Learning Centre

Primary schools

  • Coomera Springs State School (Prep-Year 6. Public school)
  • Highland Reserve State School (Prep-Year 6. Academic Excellence, Music Excellence programs. Independent public school)
  • Upper Coomera State College (Prep-Year 12. STEM Academy, Sports Academy, Creative Arts Academy. Public school)
  • Coomera Anglican College (Prep-Year 12. Sports Academy, Music Academy. Private Christian school)
  • Assisi College (Prep-Year 12. Private Christian school)
  • Saint Stephens College (Prep-Year 12. Private Christian school)

High schools

  • Upper Coomera State College (Prep-Year 12. STEM Academy, Sports Academy, Creative Arts Academy)
  • Coomera Anglican College (Prep-Year 12. Sports Academy, Music Academy. Private Christian school)
  • Assisi College (Prep-Year 12. Private Christian school)
  • Saint Stephens College (Prep-Year 12. Private Christian school)

Other schools nearby

In addition to local schools, homes within the Upper Coomera region may lie within the primary school catchment area of Pimpama State School and Gaven State School, and high school catchment areas for Pacific Pines State High School, Pimpama State Secondary College, Helensvale State High School, Ormeau Woods State High School, Beenleigh State High School and Tamborine Mountain State High School.  Kings Christian College (Early Learning-Year 12) also has a campus in Pimpama.


Who lives here?

Population

At the 2016 census, Upper Coomera was the second largest suburb on the Gold Coast with a population of 32,210. It was also the fastest growing suburb, with a percentage increase of 34% on the 2011 census count of 24,000. This growth is continuing.

Upper Coomera is mainly a population of young and maturing families, with fewer older people. The ethnicity of the population is predominantly Australian/English and there is a large component of people born in New Zealand. The population is less religious than the rest of the Gold Coast City.

Age profiles

The main population groups of Upper Coomera are the 0-17 years group (32% for the suburb compared to 22% for the Gold Coast City as a whole) and the 35-49 group (24% compared to 21% for GCC). There are significantly fewer people over the age of 50 (20% compared to the Gold Coast average of 34%).

Household type

Statistically speaking, Upper Coomera is most definitely a suburb for families. The predominant household type in Upper Coomera is ‘couples with children’. At 46%, this is a dramatic increase on the Gold Coast City average of 28%. The largest part of this percentage figure is ‘couples with young children’; at 29% almost double the Gold Coast City average of 16%).

Correspondingly there are fewer ‘couples without children’ than the Gold Coast average (22.5% compared to 25.5%), with the exception of ‘young couples without children’ (9.5% compared to 7%).

There are slightly more one parent families than the Gold Coast average (13% to 11%) but significantly fewer lone person households (9% to 21%).

Ancestry and religion

There are more people of Australian/English ancestry in Upper Coomera than the Gold Coast City average (76% compared to 71%), followed by people of Irish (11%), Scottish (10%) and Maori (5.5%) ancestry. The highest percentage of people born overseas are from New Zealand (12.5% compared to 8% for the Gold Coast City). According to the 2016 census, Upper Coomera includes the largest communities of both New Zealand Australians (894 people; 3.5%) and Māori Australians (1,549 people; 4.3%) of any suburb in Queensland.

There are fewer people of the Christian faith (51% to 53% GCC average) and more people classified as ‘No Religion’ (36% to 32% GCC average).

Upper Coomera is mainly a population of young and maturing families, with fewer older people. The ethnicity of the population is predominantly Australian/English and there is a large component of people born in New Zealand. The population is less religious than the rest of the Gold Coast City.


How people work

Full time, part-time and unemployed

More people work full-time here than for the Gold Coast City average (59% compared to 56%) and fewer people work part-time (32% compared to 35%). The unemployment rate in 2016 was the same as the rest of the Gold Coast, at 7%.

What sort of work do people do?

According to the 2016 census, the predominant occupational group for Upper Coomera are technical and trades workers and there are  more of them compared to the Gold Coast City average (16.5% compared to 15% GCC average). 

The next largest occupational group are professionals, although there are significantly fewer of them compared to the Gold Coast City average (14.5% compared to 18% GCC average).

The other main occupational groups are in line with Gold Coast City averages: Clerical/Administrative (14%), Managers (12%), Personal Service Workers (12%), Sales (11%) and Labourers (11%).

These seven occupational groups make up 91% of the employed labour force. Occupational groups that are on the rise in the suburb are personal service workers, professionals, labourers, and technical and trades workers.

What type of industry do people work in?

The dominant industry of employment that people work in is the construction industry. Significantly more people work in this industry in Upper Coomera than is typical for the Gold Coast City (14% compared to 11.5% GCC average).

The next largest industries of employment are Health and Retail. Fewer people are employed in health in the suburb than for the Gold Coast City (11% to 12.5% GCC average), but retail employment is in line with Gold Coast City average of 11%.

Upper Coomera is also on par with the Gold Coast City averages for the next most common industries of employment – education and training (8%), professional and scientific (5%), public administration (government) (4%), and administrative and support services (4%). Exceptions to the averages are: fewer people working in accommodation and food (7% compared to 10% GCC average) and more people working in manufacturing (7.5% compared to 5.5% GCC average.)

How do people get to work?

The majority of Gold Coast workers (69%) drive to work, and the people who live in Upper Coomera are no exception. In fact, 73% of them do so.

It is much more of a commuter suburb than a telecommuting one. Only 4.5% of people work from home - significantly fewer than the Gold Coast average of 6%.

More people work full-time in Upper Coomera than for the rest of the Gold Coast. These workers are predominantly trades workers. While there are a large number of professional workers, there are fewer of them when compared to the rest of the Gold Coast.


Most of these workers are employed in the construction industry. Health and retail are the other major industries, although there are significantly fewer people employed in health when compared to the rest of the Gold Coast.


Two other industries which vary from the Gold Coast averages are accommodation and food (a growth industry), and manufacturing (a declining industry).


More people in Upper Coomera drive their own cars to get to work than for the Gold Coast City average and fewer people work from home.


In general, most workers in Upper Coomera are trades workers and labourers in the construction industry who drive their own car to work, without taking passengers.


How much do people earn?

Individual weekly income

In Upper Coomera in 2016, 40% of workers earned in the weekly range of $300-999. This was largely equivalent to the Gold Coast City average of 42%. Other weekly income bands were equivalent to the Gold Coast City average: $0 to $299 (20%), $1,000 to $,1249 (10.5%), and $1,250+ (21.5%).

Weekly household income

In Upper Coomera in 2016, there was great variation to the Gold Coast City average. 57% of the Upper Coomera workforce earned $1500+ per household, compared to 40% for the GCC average. A major component of this figure was household income of $2,000 + (40%). 33% of households earned in the range of $400 to $1,499.

While individual weekly incomes are equivalent to the Gold Coast average, it is significant that household weekly incomes vary greatly from the Gold Coast average.


Assuming that the household income is made up of two people, the explanation for this seems to be two fold. Firstly, a large part of the 40% of individual weekly incomes of under $1,000 must translate into the 33% of household incomes in the range of $400 to $1,499. For example, an income of $900 per week for one person when combined with $500 per week for another person (perhaps part time) would give a household income $1400. 


Secondly, given that only 32% of workers earn individual weekly incomes of more than $1,000 but 40% of household incomes are $2,000 plus, a large number of those individual incomes must be well in excess of $1,000. Given that most of these workers are raising young families, there must be great financial pressure, such as mortgages, on both parents to work.


Education

The typical level of education in Upper Coomera is a trade qualification and there are more people with these than the Gold Coast average (26% compared to 22% GCC average). There are also significantly more people with no qualification than the Gold Coast average (41% compared to 39%). However, there are significantly fewer people with university degrees than the average (13.5% compared to 17%.) This is likely in keeping with the fact that the biggest occupation and industry of employment  in Upper Coomera are trades workers and the construction industry.

Housing

Dwelling structure

83% of dwellings in Upper Coomera are separate houses, which is a remarkable variation from the Gold Coast average of 55%. There is significantly less medium density housing (16%) than the Gold Coast average (24.5%) and there is no high density housing at all - most unusual, given the average for the Gold Coast City is 19%.

Upper Coomera is notable for large family homes. Four bedroom dwellings constitute 55%, compared to 26% GCC average. There are significantly fewer one, two, and three bedroom dwellings than the Gold Coast average (31% compared to 60%).

Owners vs renters

The number of households with a mortgage in Upper Coomera is 42%, much greater than the Gold Coast City average of 31%. The number of people who rent (39%) is also greater than the GCC average (34%).

The median weekly mortgage payment in 2016 was $475, slightly more than the GCC average of $443. The median weekly rent was $422, again higher that the GCC average of $395).

At 47.5%, more households in Upper Coomera have a monthly mortgage range of $1,200 to $2,199 than the average across Gold Coast City, which stands at 42%.  The number paying in the range $2,200 to $3,999 is also higher (34% compared to 28% GCC average).

91% of renters pay in the range $300 to $549.

The main household type in Upper Coomera is ‘couples with children’ and particularly ‘couples with young children’. The other major household type is ‘young couples without children’ who are probably couples that intend to have children but are paying some of their mortgage off first.


The predominant household type is a separate house which has four bedrooms. There is little or no medium or high density housing.


There are substantially more households with mortgages than the rest of the Gold Coast and the average household in Upper Coomera pays more in median mortgage repayments than the Gold Coast average. However the mortgage band is, on average, on a par with the rest of the Gold Coast.


There are fewer renters than the rest of the Gold Coast but again, the median rent is more than the Gold Coast average. The rental band in narrowly focused, with 91% paying between $300 and $549. This suggests that excessively high rents are not charged in Upper Coomera.


In general, the average household in Upper Coomera is a four bedroom separate house which is home to a couple with young children. This couple are buying this house and on average were paying, in 2016, an extra $30 per week more in mortgage than the average Gold Coast resident.


Typical residents

The average resident in Upper Coomera is a couple in the age range 35-49 with young children up to the age of 17. They are of Australian/English ancestry and are not particularly religious. The main occupation type is a trade worker (and labourer) and the main industry is construction. This worker drives to the place of work. There are a range of other occupations and industries available to work in. There appears to be two tiers of weekly individual income - $300 to $999 and $1250+ - as there are in weekly household income - $400 to $1499 and $2,000+. This couple and their family will live in a four bedroom house and pay higher than average mortgage and rent. This couple will either have a trade qualification or no qualification at all.

So an imaginary couple in this situation may be something like this.

In their late thirties, the couple probably married after the completion of the man’s trade certificate in the construction industry – carpenter, plumber, electrician, etc. They probably had their first child in their early twenties and the eldest of these children is now in the middle of high school. The youngest would still be in primary school. The husband works in construction and takes advantage of the close proximity of the motorway to travel in his own car to work either in Brisbane or south in the Gold Coast. His income is probably in excess of $80,000 pa ($1,500pw).

The wife will work in any number of jobs – retail sales, clerical support, personal service work, food and beverage service – and while she would probably prefer to work part-time for child care reasons, financial pressure may require her to work full time. If her work is part-time, she may earn $30,000 pa ($570pw); if her work is full-time, she may earn $65,000 ($1,250 pw). (In both cases the weekly household income would be $2,000+, but in the first example, the weekly individual income would be less than $1,000) This financial pressure derives from the high mortgage payments they make, which could be as high as $650 per week or $175 above the Gold Coast median mortgage repayment. (20% of mortgages in Upper Coomera are above this level). The mortgage would be paying for a four bedroom house in the suburbs of Kingsholme, Willow Vale, or Upper Coomera itself.

Two alternative situations may be as follows:

An unskilled labour who works in construction and is married, with children, in a three bedroom house. His income is lower than that of the tradesman and he may not be able to secure a mortgage and so has to rent. His wife may have to work, possibly also in a low skill/low pay job to supplement the household income. She would probably have to work full time.

A professional couple such as teacher or nurse in their late twenties who work in government paid jobs. The security of their work enables them to get a mortgage to buy a house, although they may have a plan to move at some time in the near future. Being university educated, they may live close to their work – a local school or hospital – and may even catch public transport to work in Brisbane. Both would work full-time and may not have children at this time, postponing this until their mortgage is paid off more.

History of the area

The name Coomera comes from the Yugambeh word kumera, a species of wattle. The bark of this tree was used to stun fish.

Settlement of the area dates from the 1860s, with land used mainly for timber-getting, banana farming, sugar cane growing, dairy farming and quarrying. Some growth took place during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Significant development did not occur until the 1970s. Rapid growth took place from the early 1990s, with the population almost trebling between 1991 and 2001, and again between 2001 and 2011, a result of large numbers of new dwellings being added to the area. It is predicted to grow rapidly even further in the next few years.

Politics

Local Government - Gold Coast City Council division
  • Coomera
  • Helensvale
State Government electorate
  • Coomera
  • Theodore
Federal Government electorate
  • Forde

Pros

Things to consider

Midway between Brisbane and Tweed Heads

M1 is the only real option for driving anywhere

Close to theme parks

No cinemas (although one is coming)

Lots of new house and land packages available

Rapidly growing, without much infrastructure support

Close to the M1

Distance to hospital

Excellent facilities, particularly for families

Distance to beach/mountains