BUYS BY THE SEA­SIDE

Hol­i­day spots have proved pop­u­lar with out-of-town­ers look­ing for prop­erty that’s com­pet­i­tively priced

The Weekend Australian - Life - - PRESTIGE PROPERTY - LISA ALLEN

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

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