Wealthy young snap up the tro­phy homes

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

FROM PAGE 1

“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.”

Pic: SHANE NI­CHOLS

The new own­ers of 7 Wharf St, Port Dou­glas, Dean and Larah Cook . . . ‘we’ve been com­ing to Port for years’

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