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  • Gail Sedorkin

    Journalist

    Email Gail Sedorkin

    Cairns tops the nation for property investment


    Cairns has been chosen as regional Australia’s hottest property investment destination for 2018.

    Simon Pressley of Propertyology said investing in the Tropical North was a “no brainer”, citing our affordable housing market, tropical attractions and lifestyle as key factors in the city’s top ranking.

    While the “affordability driver” is the top reason for the number one ranking, Pressley told Sky News Real Estate that our clean environment, food experiences, beautiful beaches, agriculture and major projects were also important drawcards.

    PERSONAL ENDORSEMENT

    Mr Pressley has already personally endorsed the regional city with his own investment property in Cairns, pointing out that you would be “flat-out getting a pantry in Sydney or a carport in Melbourne” for the median purchase price of a three-bedroom house in Cairns.

    He also said you can expect a “big bang for your buck” in Cairns with 600-800 sq. m blocks, low maintenance homes with pools, and, with tight vacancy rates – a 5% yield on your investment.

    Pressley says the trend of more people leaving capital cities is expected to continue, with 20,000-plus currently leaving Sydney each year for tree and sea changes.

    EXPANDING INFRASTRUCTURE

    He says the outlook for Cairns is strong, citing the city’s proximity on the map as the ideal gateway to Asia, the fifth largest international airport in Australia, and major tourism and business infrastructure.

    An over-reliance on tourism is in the past Pressley points out, with the estimated $700 million worth of investment by Crystalbrook Collection, the expansion of two major universities, the port and naval hub and the Cairns Convention Centre upgrade, together with regional agriculture.

    An added attraction is Cairns’ employment rates, growing at 11.2%, more than three times the national average of 3.7%.

    Reflecting on the current state of the market, Rick Carr of Herron Todd White Cairns notes in CairnsWatch November 2017 that price movements for individual properties have been mixed and prices overall are relatively static.

    But Mr Carr’s research found the median vendor discount – the difference between the asking price first advertised on a property and its ultimate selling price – has reduced for units and houses alike.

    “The latest trend median prices, for properties sold in the month of October 2017, came in at $405,000 for a house, $205,000 for a unit, and $212,000 for a block of land,” Mr Carr wrote in the latest Cairns Watch report.

    “Despite relatively flat market conditions in terms of volumes and prices, other market metrics have shown some improvement in the latest quarter.

    “The median time taken for listed properties to reach a sale has decreased from 59 days for houses sold in the 12 months to May 2017, to 56 days for houses sold in the 12 months to August 2017.

    “The median time taken to sell a unit remained unchanged at 74 days over the same period.”