It seems that surfing is riding a wave of popularity in coastal real estate markets. The trend towards surfing-focused holidays was rising before the pandemic put lifestyle aspirations sharply into focus , and agents say they now struggle to keep up with demand for homes with sea and sand on the doorstep. Why EV charging points are London’s next big luxury real estate trend When boutique developer and avid surfer Paul Gedoun launched Flow Residences on Australia’s Gold Coast mid-last year, all 22 premium apflatsere sold off-the-plan within months – leading him to acquire another property a block away, which will continue the aspirational surfside theme. Flow, and the upcoming development Awaken Residences, are located at the epicentre of Australian surfing, where the famous breaks of Duranbah, Snapper Rocks, Rainbow Bay, Greenmount, Coolangatta and Kirra are all within walking distance, and residents include surfing icons Joel Parkinson, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore and more. “We make every effort to align our projects with the coastal attributes and surfing culture,” said Gedoun, who is also founder and director at S&S Projects. People love the idea of waking up to the calls of wild birds and the ocean; being able to see natural beauty all around them Jim Habig, CEO of International Surf Properties Catering to its targeted buyer demographic, both projects feature a range of unique amenities including surfboard storage and cleaning and repair facilities, along with a full suite of luxury inclusions. Designed in a way that provides residents the quickest access to the beach, Awaken will comprise just 10 flats, one per floor, with a pool, steam room, BBQ area and a street-level cafe. With a price guide of A$2.5 million to A$8.5 million (US$1.9 million to US$6.5 million) and a 12-storey art piece on the side, the homes have wraparound balconies overlooking the surf that are accessible from every room. Why the New Zealand property market is currently ‘on fire’ Gedoun notes that surfing culture and the related real estate demand is a rising trend, but that buyers want more than a beach alone. “All the other elements that make a great holiday – or lifestyle – must be there as well,” he said. With its flat, beachside walking and bike paths, vibrant restaurant scene and proximity to hip Byron Bay, as well as its world-class surf, Coolangatta on Australia’s Gold Coast “has it all”. Awaken is slated for completion in December 2022. Similarly, nearby Miles Residences, the first phase of the A$380 million redevelopment of Kirra Beach Hotel, will capture the distinctive vibe of the coast in a vibrant new master-planned precinct designed to become “a destination in its own right”. Since its December 2020 launch, marketing agent Tim Keenan says he’s been “overwhelmed” by “scintillating interest”, with almost 50 per cent of the KTQ Group mixed use development already sold. Asia Pacific property in the Year of the Ox “The interest has been phenomenal and reflective not only of the stand-out design of the flats but the prized Kirra location and strong national and international interest in the owner-occupier and down-sizer market,” Keenan said. Miles Residences comprise a collection of one-, two- and three-bedroom architecturally designed flats, many with a multipurpose room. Residents’ amenities include a 25 metre north-facing pool overlooking Kirra Point. Prices range from A$545,000 to A$1.5 million. Jim Habig, CEO of International Surf Properties, agrees that people around the globe are flocking to the coast to relax, exercise and enjoy the ocean. “Where do you go when the population centres are putting extreme restrictions on freedom of lifestyle? You go to places with fewer people and fewer restrictions,” said Habig, who has listings in places like Tahiti, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama and Indonesia. “Our properties fulfil that need to be in a place that is tranquil and still free to explore. People love the idea of waking up to the calls of wild birds and the ocean; being able to see natural beauty all around them.” Buyers from Asia are among those inquiring, Habig adds. “They are attracted to our surf properties because the amount of land they can purchase at a good price with a beautiful view and close to the ocean.” How Covid-19 is fuelling Lunar New Year second home sales in Australia, Malaysia and Thailand For a taste of what’s available, Casa Siempre Domingo is a 6-hectare (15-acre) estate a short distance from the deserted volcanic beaches of the Southern Costa Rican coast. Commanding expansive Pacific Ocean views and located, according to Habig, in a world-class surfing and fishing zone, the main house has five private suites which he describes as “the perfect set-up for a yoga retreat, vacation rental or family home”. It’s on the market for US$1.1 million. In Nicaragua, the Caribbean Sea laps at the shores of Iguana Island, a private retreat cloaked in coconut palms and banana trees with a home built out of local hardwoods and set up for self-sustainability. The asking price is only US$475,000 for the entire island. Meanwhile, Australian entrepreneur Andrew Corkery, CEO of Selo Group, is tapping the surf tourism trend with developments in Indonesia. Corkery has also noticed an increase in surfing-focused holidays and a transition to a more high-end customer. “Surfing is one of the fastest growing sports in the world (12 per cent per year) and will debut as an Olympic sport in Japan,” he said. “Surfing has also been growing steadily in China, particularly in Hainan, and the industry in China is projected to reach a market size of US$689.7 million by 2027.” As part of the Selong Selo Resort & Residences development in South Lombok, the group recently launched 20 luxury Surf Villas. Available for sale in studio, one- or two-bedroom options, the villas’ design compliments the natural terrain with an open plan panoramic view. Each is equipped with modern fittings and has its own private plunge pool. Prices start at US$187,000. Inside Rihanna’s US$13.8 million Beverly Hills mansion According to Corkery, the island of Lombok, located to the east of Bali, is the fastest growing tourism market in Indonesia, “resulting in a window of opportunity for buyers to invest in property on the island while it remains exclusive and good value”. “With its amazing surfing spots, natural beauty, lush jungles and beyond, it is an oasis for beach goers, surfers and outdoor enthusiasts to escape to for sanctuary,” he said. Showing that such a lifestyle can be achievable for many, options for those drawn to the surf span the price gamut from only US$125,000 for the leasehold of an oceanfront three-villa resort on the wave rich region of Simelue Island, Indonesia, (from International Surf Properties), to the US$18 million Maui, Hawaiian home of 23-time windsurfing world champion Robby Naish and Katie Naish (listed by Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers). Why hotel branded residences are 2021’s luxury real estate trend to watch What you can buy for US$18 million: The Maui home of Hawaiian windsurfing champion Robby Naish. The 30-hectare (73-acre) estate encompasses Kealii Point between Uaoa Bay and Pilale Bay with nearly 0.8km (half a mile) of coastline, and at around 6,000 sq ft, the home has five bedrooms, a gym, home office, guest wing, pool and spa. Listing agent Josh Jerman of Hawaii Life says the large home office “is a perfect place to remain productive while never having to endure a commute”. What you can buy for US$125,000: A 25-year lease on a cool boutique surf resort located on Simeulue Island off Sumatra. The resort consists of three timber villas overlooking the bay and the waves in front, a chill out building with kitchen and staff house. It’s currently able to host nine guests, but Jim Habig of International Surf Properties says there’s room on the property to expand the resort with three more villas. Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .