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NZ PROPERTY BUYERS FIND SOUL ON GOLD COAST

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The revitalised Gold Coast property market is proving a strong lure for New Zealand investors, who are buying en masse into the new standard of luxury beachfront apartments on Australia's iconic tourist strip.

New Zealanders have purchased 13 apartments totalling $25.13 million in the Juniper Group's Soul Surfers Paradise development, where prices for entry-level units begin at $1.7 million. Their neighbours in the building will include the buyer of Australia's most expensive apartment, the $17 million super penthouse at the pinnacle of the landmark 77-storey tower.

"New Zealanders have always enjoyed the Gold Coast as a holiday destination but now they've started investing here too," said Juniper marketing manager David Kortlang. "They're attracted by the new luxury price points on offer in Soul and other developments, which are breathing new life into Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast.

"Soul itself is a once in a lifetime investment opportunity offering the best beachfront location in Australia and an unrivalled standard of luxury living. Many of our other international buyers would say that too," he said.

Mr Kortlang said proximity was also a draw card for New Zealand buyers with the Gold Coast international airport only a two-and-a-half hour flight from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Construction of the $850 million Soul Surfers Paradise is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2007.  Juniper has already secured unconditional sales for 160 apartments, worth more than $300 million.

"These sales show the top end of the residential property market on the Gold Coast is really thriving," Mr Kortlang said. "We think the Gold Coast can now truly rank alongside glamorous international cities such as Malibu, New York and the Sydney waterfront when it comes to property prices and desirability."

Soul Surfers Paradise is a showpiece property of the privately-owned Juniper Group – a fully integrated development and hotel and resort management company.  The award-winning group boasts more than $2 billion worth of projects and strategic landholdings currently under development or scheduled for future construction in key coastal tourist precincts on the eastern seaboard, including the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and North Queensland.

Juniper also has a $200 million portfolio of blue-chip retail and commercial properties in Queensland's most sought-after beachfront locations.