BUYS BY THE SEASIDE
Holiday spots have proved popular with out-of-towners looking for property that’s competitively priced
The key holiday markets of Noosa, Byron Bay and Airlie Beach have reported positive tourist traffic during the recent holidays and strong real-estate sales as out-of-towners compare the cheaper property prices in vacation hot spots with those in their own cities. Cashed-up property developer Dean Fleming, of the Fleming retail family dynasty, was so taken with a onebedroom apartment for sale in Noosa’s beachfront Netanya complex at Christmas that he forked out $1.34 million to purchase it within an hour of discovering it was about to be auctioned.
“I thought the value in Noosa was outstanding compared to prices around Australia,” says Sydney-based Fleming, who also owns a holiday house in Queensland’s Port Douglas. “I can see a great future in Noosa. Capital values will grow over the next five years.
“This apartment is a ripper,” he adds. “It is right on the beach and the return on investment is exceptional for holiday letting.
“A lot of holiday destinations were affected by the global financial crisis. It is good buying in Noosa at the moment. The larger three and four-bedder apartments are great value.
“I can’t see (prices) coming down any further; all I can see is (prices) going up,” says Fleming, who bought the property through Tom Offermann Real Estate agent Ben West. According to principal Tom Offermann, Noosa performed strongly over Christmas. “We had a bumper season for tourism, we were really busy, the restaurants were pumping. A lot of people say they had never seen Noosa as busy,” Offermann says.
“That led to good business trading for retail and accommodation operators, which has led to increasing rental returns. It is starting to ignite the second home and unit market.”
Offermann says more buyers are coming out of Sydney and Melbourne, whereas over the past two years most of the demand for real estate in Noosa has come from buyers from Brisbane.
“Because the Sydney and Melbourne markets have been strong the equity base in those cities has lifted and people are recognising a value disparity between properties in their cities and those on the Sunshine Coast,” he says. “The Sunshine Coast markets are still recovering from the global financial crisis.”
Further south, Graham Dunn of Byron Bay Property Sales says the NSW north coast township has experienced the busiest Christmas in history because of the sluggish Australian dollar. “We had an unsolicited offer of $15m on a Belongil beachfront property, which
Dean Fleming, top, paid $1.34 million for an apartment in Noosa; Airlie Beach, above left; and the Netanya Noosa resort