Big home sales aid confidence
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