New buy­ers home in on city’s lower-priced ar­eas

The Weekend Post - - Front Page - ALI­CIA NALLY ali­ ed­i­to­rial@cairn­ face­­sPost www.cairn­ twit­­sPost


DE­SPITE a re­duc­tion in the first home­owner’s grant, a bevy of Cairns sub­urbs are throw­ing up af­ford­able, con­ve­nient op­tions for those mak­ing their first foray into buy­ing a house.

Ear­lville, Mooroo­bool, West­court, Bent­ley Park, Smithfield and Cairns North all have a range of houses and units on the mar­ket from $135,000 to just over the $300,000 mark.

LJ Hooker Edge Hill prin­ci­pal Ross Moller said the at­trac­tion of many sub­urbs was their prox­im­ity to the city, schools and ma­jor shop­ping cen­tres.

“They may be older homes but it also gives the first home­buyer the chance to ren­o­vate and cre­ate some cap­i­tal gains go­ing for­ward,” he said.

The In­dus­try Es­tate Agents’ Heidi Weyling said a lit­tle bit of money went a long way in south­ern sub­urbs like Bent­ley Park.

“It’s still pos­si­ble to se­cure a home for un­der $300,000. Or if you have a bit more to spend, there are larger homes with views for around $550,000 which is fan­tas­tic value,” she said.

“In some of the es­tab­lished ar­eas of Smithfield there are some great value homes on large al­lot­ments. Al­ter­na­tively there are house and land pack­ages in the new es­tates.

“If you are sin­gle and look­ing to buy your first prop­erty then an apart­ment in Cairns North may be more af­ford­able and suited to your lifestyle. If you choose to move on later on, rental re­turns on apart­ments close to the city are ex­cel­lent.”

De­spite a call by Master Builders Queens­land to in­crease the first home­owner’s grant to $20,000, where it sat be­fore July 1 this year, one Cairns de­vel­op­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tive said they had wit­nessed a re­turn to the mar­ket of those look­ing for their first home.

Fortress Group sales man­ager Garett Klein­schmidt said Bent­ley Park’s Cher­ry­brook pro­vided af­ford­able, en­trylevel homes.

“In­quiries have been strong with 35 per cent of lots al­ready sold in the first re­lease since it hit­ting the mar­ket in May this year.

“More than 60 per cent of cur­rent set­tled con­tracts are first home buy­ers. The up­lift is much ear­lier than we ex­pected.”

Peter Bridge­wa­ter from Bridge­wa­ter Builders said he was “start­ing to see more hope and con­fi­dence from first time buy­ers in the mar­ket”.

The pick-up could be tied to im­prov­ing em­ploy­ment rates, ac­cord­ing to MBQ deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Bid­well.

Plan your next move with the mas­sive se­lec­tion of homes for sale in to­day’s 88-page real es­tate liftout

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