Big home sales aid con­fi­dence

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Rosanne Bar­rett

A trifecta of tro­phy homes in Queens­land’s far north has sold af­ter years on the mar­ket and an­other pres­ti­gious of­fer­ing is set to go this month, in a boost in con­fi­dence for the re­gion.

Lo­cals have been buoyed by high-pro­file trans­ac­tions along Port Dou­glas’s ultra-luxe Mur­phy Street, with ar­chi­tect Charles Wright’s fu­tur­is­tic The Edge sell­ing for $4.85 mil­lion in Septem­ber and Steve Vizard’s for­mer hol­i­day home trad­ing last De­cem­ber for $5.1m.

It is be­lieved a $5m-plus con­tract has been signed for the sale of spec­tac­u­lar Kal­imna home of Just Jeans founder Craig Kim­ber­ley for an mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar price tag, to set­tle early next year.

Although the trans­ac­tions were mil­lions of dol­lars less than the ini­tial ask­ing price set for the prop­er­ties, it is a re­turn to turnover for tro­phy homes in the far north.

Ar­chi­tec­ture-award-win­ning Alkira, in Cape Tribu­la­tion 140km north of Cairns, is up for auc­tion on Novem­ber 30 af­ter seek­ing a buyer on and off for three years — ini­tially with a $14m price tag.

Unique Es­tates agent Ni­co­lette van Wi­jn­gaar­den says she had in­struc­tions the dis­tinc­tive home would be sold on the day, but re­jected as in­ac­cu­rate re­ports there would be no reserve on the un­usual prop­erty. Van Wi­jn­gaar­den says there has been an in­crease in in­quiry in re­cent months for tro­phy Port Dou­glas homes.

“A lot of peo­ple are want­ing a re­treat away from the crazi­ness of the world. I had a buyer call. He made it very clear he was a for­eign buyer look­ing to es­cape Brexit and Trump, and Cape Tribu­la­tion is a great place to do it.”

Tony McGrath Real Es­tate’s Cal­lum Jones says the top-end sales were good for the town and showed con­fi­dence in the mar­ket.

“Peo­ple are buy­ing life­style prop­er­ties again whereas they haven’t been in the last five years,” Jones says.

“It shows the strength of the mar­ket im­prov­ing down south and the value for money, rel­a­tively speak­ing, in com­par­i­son to prop­er­ties down south. Th­ese homes do pose re­ally good value.”

In late De­cem­ber, the sale of the Mur­phy Street home to Mel­bourne-based phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal ex­ec­u­tive Tony Nu­nan and his wife Genevieve through Tony McGrath kicked off the lat­est round of sales.

In Septem­ber, The Edge sold for close to its re­vised ask­ing price of $5.1m. .

The nine-pavil­lion man­sion, Kal­imna, was com­mis­sioned by Kim­ber­ley on land the fam­ily had owned for 27 years. It sits on an acre and fea­tures a 25m swim­ming pool.

RP Data CoreLogic fig­ures show me­dian house prices in the hol­i­day precinct are sit­ting above the sale level of 10 years ago, at $502,500. It has been a strong in­crease of 11.7 per cent over the past three years.

Units how­ever, have yet to re­turn to the av­er­age price from be­fore the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis, with the me­dian sale 3.3 per cent lower than a decade ago at $215,000.

Prop­er­ties are tak­ing at least three to four months to sell, at a ven­dor dis­count of about 8 per cent.

Her­ron Todd White re­search di­rec­tor Rick Carr says the tra­di­tional “rule of thumb” for trop­i­cal far north Queens­land tro­phy homes was that peo­ple “buy with their hearts not with their heads”.

“Port Dou­glas has been in the dol­drums since the (global fi­nan­cial cri­sis) but what we’ve no­ticed over the last two years, and the last year par­tic­u­larly, is a very strong tourism re­vival and that is start­ing to trans­late to the prop­erty mar­ket,” he said. “The gen­eral prop­erty mar­ket is start­ing to rekin­dle.”

Alkira, Cape Tribu­la­tion

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