Cairns market update

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The median house price in Cairns dipped 2.6 per cent over the June quarter to $345,750. However this result is likely due to the types of properties that sold over that period of time.

Over the June quarter, 410 preliminary house sales were recorded for the Cairns region – an increase from 324 sales in March.  According to local REIQ accredited agencies, the Cairns market is continuing the momentum which first began at the start of 2013.  The numbers of sales have been steadily increasing since that point in time and not even the announcement of the Federal Election could overly-hamper the property market.  In fact, local agents believe that now the election is out of the way, the market will continue its upward trajectory.

The recent announcement that a significant new tourism project may take shape in the region is also providing motivation for buyers.  The State Government recently declared the $4.2 billion Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort mega-resort and casino in Cairns a co-ordinated project which gives it a streamlined approval process.  The project would include nine luxury hotels, a sports stadium and high-end retail shopping.

More good news for the region is the fact that Queensland’s tourism industry is rebounding with strong growth in both domestic and international visitor numbers and expenditure over the past year.  In the year to March 2013 there had been a 7 per cent increase in domestic visitors and a 5 per cent increase in international visitors.  Airport passenger numbers increased in the year to 30 June 2013 including 4.4 per cent growth through the Cairns Airport.

The Cairns unit and townhouse price decreased 10 per cent over the June quarter to $180,000.  However, while the median price may have fallen over the June quarter due to more affordable stock selling, the preliminary numbers of sales increased to 216 from 170 in the March quarter.  According to local agents, prices in the unit market have bottomed which in turn is attracting more buyers to this segment of the market.

The highest number of sales over the quarter was in Cairns North which recorded 27 preliminary unit sales and had a median price of $184,750.  Good performers over the quarter included Manoora which posted median unit price growth of 9.4 per cent to $175,000, and Trinity Beach which recorded a median price increase of 5.1 per cent to $205,000 as well as 18 preliminary unit sales.

It is likely that the Cairns unit market will post stronger sales and price results for the September quarter as this segment of the market bounces back.  The vacancy rate for the Cairns region has fallen to 1.8 per cent at the end of June, compared to 2.3 for March. The tight rental market is partly due to the lack of building going on in Cairns, with no new supply coming on-line, as reported by REIQ accredited agents. However this may look to change as survey results had indicated a slight increase in investor activity.

Brought to you by the REIQ’s Queensland Market Monitor