Investors lap it up
FLY-IN fly-out workers, holidaymakers wanting to escape city living and savvy local investors are snapping up units in Port Douglas.
The town’s unit sales have blitzed every other town and suburb in the Far North in the 12 months to February, according to new RP Data figures.
It is no surprise to Victorian investor Grant Burnell who has purchased six properties in the seaside town, mostly to renovate and rent to holidaymakers.
‘‘This one is a holiday-let, we get fantastic occupancy,’’ the corporate accountant said.
‘‘We have been coming to Port since 2004 on holidays, we had a change in our life, our business sold, and we tried to accumulate a few more properties here.’’
The tropical destination has seen 226 unit purchases during the 12-month period.
This figure is higher than Cairns City and Cairns North unit sales and house sales in Tableland town Mareeba.
‘‘I tend to be a cyclical investor, I try not to buy anything that is popular at the time,’’ Mr Burnell said.
‘‘The incoming markets from Europe and America were very subdued because of the GFC so the occupancy was down, which affected the yield and affected the property prices. ‘‘(Port Douglas) took a hell of a beating.’’ As the market recovers, Mr Burnell is just one investor in the resurgence of interstate buyers looking north to find a bargain.
The limited supply of land, high-rise restrictions, reasonable prices and being a small town is attracting buyers, says Ray White Port Douglas agent Caroline Yarr.
"We had a falling market for six years and houses and apartments were difficult to sell so the prices continued to fall,’’ Ms Yarr said.
"About 18 months ago we noticed a real shift in the market."
Ms Yarr said houses near Four Mile Beach had also experienced a 20 per cent price increase.
‘‘I’m down to half the stock I had 18 months ago.
‘‘We also haven’t had any new develop- ment...’’
Vista Realty Port Douglas agent Pauline Halsall said many people were looking to purchase property to rent before returning to live years on.
‘‘People are coming from Victoria, Western Australia and Northern Territory where prices are high.
‘‘’’They are surprised at the value of proper- ties here,’’ she said.
‘‘Recently I had a group of real estate agents and their investors from South Australia purchased quite a few (properties) all in the same resort - they just could not get enough.’’
Agents said the recent acquisitions of Sheraton Mirage and Marina Mirage plus plans for Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort at Yorkeys Knob had boosted buyer confidence.
Victorian investor Grant Burnell has bought up big in Port Douglas