The Sunshine Coast is making headlines for all the right reasons with new economic growth resulting in significant job creation.

Home to 330,000 residents and only an hour’s drive from Brisbane’s northern suburbs, the Sunshine Coast has always lived in the shadow of the glitz and glamour attached to its southern counterpart, preferring to avoid the glare of the headlines and go quietly about its business.

However, the sleepy Sunshine Coast has awoken with a bang as its economy makes headlines for all the right reasons and for the first time, it is not about tourism.

The Sunshine Coast leads the way in job creation in Queensland, accounting for 20 per cent of the 54,000 new jobs created in the State in 2013.

With the 100 hectare Oceanside Kawana Health Precinct with the $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital, Ramsay Private Hospital and ancillary medical and training facilities having an ongoing $3.2 billion economic impact, the Sunshine Coast Plaza is also undergoing a $350 million upgrade and several smaller but still significant improvements are underway at the airport and Big Top retail centre in Maroochydore CBD.

Property commentator Michael Matusik explains that the employment growth of 10,000 jobs comes largely through construction and medical related areas with a lesser impact from the tourism and retail sectors.

Increasing employment translates to increasing demand for housing and developers have responded with a 150 per cent year-on-year increase in housing approvals to November 2013, roughly double the growth in Brisbane at 77 per cent, according to figures released by the Master Builders Association.

At Caloundra, the water-based master planned community of Pelican Waters provides residents with an enviable lifestyle with easy access to schools and retail whilst leisure time can be idled away boating on the ocean or Pumicestone Passage, or playing golf on its dedicated course.

Just one hour’s drive from northern Brisbane it offers lots from $350,000 and new homes from $650,000. Further north at Cotton Tree, Verve apartments comprise just 45 one, two, and three bed apartments topped by three rarely found four bed penthouses in a boutique eight-level building.

Developer Dinstarr Project Management recognised the demand for larger apartments and provides buyers the opportunity to combine apartments on the lower floors to create sub-penthouses. Prices start from $350,000.

A totally different style of housing can be found at The Wave Series at Kula just three minutes walk from Mt Coolum beach. With prices from $298,000, developer Turrisi Properties have created an affordable beachside development of townhouses which according to architect Steve Godwin of BASE Architecture are “designed to make the most of contemporary beachside living, providing open, light-filled spaces that are efficient in their planning and detailed in construction and material selections.”

There’s big plans afoot for the Sunshine Coast as Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson will attest. “Our aim is to be the most sustainable region in Australia…with a sustainable economy, environment and community.”

The Sunshine Coast is indeed set for many years in the sun.