Wealthy young snap up the trophy homes
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“Over the years we’ve stayed in all the top houses on the hill.”
They had long had their eye on 7 Wharf St. He said it was thanks to Mrs Cook’s persistence that they finally closed the deal post-auction on Saturday. The couple plan to use the home for several months every year and keep it in the holiday rental market.
Agent Barbara Wolveridge of Raine and Horne had been talking to the couple for a year.
On Saturday night she and vendor Michael Yates were able to pop the cork on the bubbly that had been waiting in the fridge of the plantation style home on the hill.
It had been another signal day in the local property market. And on Monday the Tanamera property on Flagstaff Hill sold, after being passed in at auction at $3.25 million.
“The last five sales over $5m in the past year were all to younger buyers in their 40s and 50,” Ms Wolveridge said. “Anyone under 60 is still young!
“If you look at 7 Wharf St, it was built by Don and Verity Morris, and at the same there was myself and Michael Wolveridge building our house – Michael was up doing the golf course for Christopher Skase – and at the same time there was Libby and Tom Klinger – we were all the young guard, in our 40s.
“So here we all are now, 25 years later or so, and younger people are starting to come up. We did a lot for Port Douglas and are still out there, but it’s exciting that these young ones are coming in now and buying, I just think it’s fabulous.
“It’s a very good sign. It’s the only way that places like Port Douglas can keep moving upward.”
House prices in Port Douglas have been steadily moving up, not just at the top end.
But they are still not quite back to the heady levels of around 2007 – before the global financial crisis.
“The market is pretty strong,” said Callum Jones of the Pink Company in Port Douglas. “There are good signs for this year. I think supply has gone down and demand has gone up, and that’s applying a bit of pressure on price.”
Faster selling properties reflected the heightened demand.
Another thing he had noticed was that people about to visit Port Douglas had been phoning ahead to make appointments, instead of the usual situation where they looked at the property market in a casual way while here on holiday.
“Port Douglas is being discovered by a new wave of younger wealthy entrepreneurs enticed by the unique natural environment of reef and rainforest, beach and charismatic village atmosphere of Port Douglas,” said the doyen of the town, John Morris.
“A key attraction is the lowrise building code, where nothing is allowed to be constructed higher than a coconut palm.”
The new owners of 7 Wharf St, Port Douglas, Dean and Larah Cook . . . ‘we’ve been coming to Port for years’