In late 2008 it was clear that the days of large volumes of sales in Port Douglas was over.
During the period 2009 – 2011 seller’s chased the Port Douglas property market down not knowing how far it would fall.
The volume of Mortgagee In Possession properties shocked even the most long standing real estate agents in town.
Buyers were thin on the ground and all types of properties were challenging to sell.
Sellers and Buyers rarely saw “eye to eye” during this period. The Port Douglas property market experienced 30% up to 50% decline across the marketplace.
The high Australian Dollar and the dramatic decline in international and domestic tourists immediately impacted all sectors of the Port Douglas economy. Property development came to a standstill and an exodus of the workforce saw rental vacancy levels skyrocket and weekly rents falling.
The Port Douglas property market in 2012 was stable. We knew prices had pretty much bottomed out. Repossession sales declined and we generally knew where the market was at. Buyers and Sellers were almost on the same page. We saw a slight increase in buyer activity levels.
Clients who had just sold knew they could re-enter the market and buy back into the same market they had just sold in.
The first half of 2013 there was consistant momentum in sales, however prices being achieved were nothing to rave about . We knew something was happening but after such an extended downturn it was difficult to acknowledge the shift.
In the last six months of 2013, the residential market, including houses, vacant land and units which can be owner occupied have been selling.
The flood gates opened, and residential property that was previously sitting idle on the market has since been snapped up. The average time on the market for a house in Port Douglas was 320 days, this statistic quickly changed in the later half of 2013 to 140 days.
The same however, can not be said for units that are zoned for holiday use only. Unfortunatley holiday unit sales have remained in the doldrums due to higher Body Corporate costs and insurance “hikes”. Despite 2013 having shown some extraordinary growth in tourist numbers, net returns to most holiday unit owners remain low and offer little incentive to potential buyers.
Perhaps the low interest rates have finally had an effect on buyers and investors, perhaps it is the fact that Douglas is finally de-amalagamating from Cairns after 5 years of being their cash cow. Whatever the reason, the later half of 2013 has been one of our busiest years.
Our conversations with Sellers have changed from “how to sell” to “how much will we get”, we are in the transition period from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market. If you are thinking about selling your Port Douglas residential property now is a good time, as we are bracing for a busy 2014.