PORT Douglas house prices posted a strong three months to December, according to the latest REIQ data.
It says the 11 house sales for the period produced a 13 per cent rise in the median house price to $463,500.
But the one-year change, up until December, is down by 6.3 per cent.
David Cotton, principal at Raine and Horne Port Douglas, said it was likely that several big ticket house sales had skewed the percentage price growth, although the median house price figure sounded about right.
He said big individual sales he knew of in that period included homes in the $1-2 million range. ‘‘That’s going to throw your stats.’’
He said the market was definitely stable now and there was likely to be slow but steady growth ahead.
‘‘ There’ll be less of the swings and busts of the past, people are a lot more cautious now. They have the resources to go online and do their own comparative market analysis to tell them exactly how much a property went for, and when they’re buying, buyers are a lot more informed than they used to be.’’
Mr Cotton said that when it came to units, ‘‘there were a lot of fire sales. People were getting out because they couldn’t make the numbers stack up. They were sick of paying the ridiculous body corporate fees.’’
Strata title insurance premiums have exploded in recent years.
‘‘Properties that were showing 7-8 per cent returns are now showing 1- 2 per cent returns.
‘‘But it depends what they want it for. If they’re not that worried about returns it makes a great holiday home.’’
LJ Hooker Port Douglas prin- cipal Michael Samson said the December quarter in Port Douglas was a very busy end for the year.
‘‘Buyers are still looking for value and are shopping around,’’ he said. ‘‘The good news was there were large numbers of buyers looking to invest in the area, which certainly assisted the growth figures.
‘‘I do think buyers are still seeing value in our marketplace with prices and interest rates at an affordable level, and the next few months will be very interesting to watch.
‘‘There are very good local signs moving into the middle part of 2014.’’
The median house price in Cairns increased 1 per cent over the December quarter to $355,000.
The city’s median house price grew by 2.9 per cent over the year. The preliminary numbers of house sales were up about 14 per cent over the year.