Century 21 Port Douglas Blog


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.

We wish all our clients, friend and lovers of the Douglas Shire a fabulous festive season and prosperous 2014.

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RBA Decision

The Reserve Bank of Australia today decided to hold the official cash rate at 2.50 per cent – a decision that is expected to continue to support the strengthening of the Australian real estate market.

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Housing Bubble Unlikely – Australian Property

Century 21, the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region, believes that it is unlikely that the Australian residential market is in, or developing, a housing bubble.


“Recent growth in national dwelling values could more be seen as a correction rather than a bubble,” said Chairman and Owner of Century 21 Australasia, Charles Tarbey.


“While property values nationally have grown by 8.7 per cent since June 2012, commentators often overlook the fact that values have dropped in several regions recently, and sit only 0.7 per cent higher than their October 2010 peak.”


According to Century 21 Australasia, the Australian market has a number of unique characteristics and drivers that by and large keep the market safe, resilient and strong.


“Projected shortages in housing stock, a stable government, a strong economy, centralised society, coastal living, and the fact that Australians tend to live in larger houses than other people around the world – are all factors that bode well for resilient ongoing house prices,” continued Charles Tarbey.


Last month the Reserve Bank’s Assistant Governor, Dr Malcolm Edey, described talk of a housing bubble as ‘‘unrealistically alarmist.”


While a projected shortage of housing stock in certain areas means that prices are likely to grow with demand, Century 21 Australasia believes that developers will also be working to capitalise on this shortage by developing more housing.


“While dwelling value growth and a low interest rate environment has started to encourage activity, Century 21 believes that any bubble talk is premature at best and alarmist at worst,” concluded Charles Tarbey.



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Building a support squad

Nobody is an expert at every endeavor. It makes sense to focus your time on what you excel at, while bringing in professionals to help with other tasks and commitments. Most of us don’t bat an eyelid outsourcing to personal trainers, cleaners or even dog walkers – so why wouldn’t you bring in a professional to help when outlaying significant amounts of money to invest in property?


We are accustomed to thinking that if we want to get wealthy we need to look after the pennies, as the pennies will then look after the pounds. But times have changed. Current thinking is that:


a) You need to spend money to make money; and

b) You’re better off paying experts who are specialists in their area(s) as opposed to trying to be a jack of all trades but a master of none.


Building your property portfolio is a serious business that involves large amounts of money. To achieve the best results in the long term, you’d be wise to invest in at least three experts. Here’s who they are and where to find them:



The average accountant can do your bookkeeping and save you some money by adding in your expenses. However, not all accountants will understand what’s really involved with property investing.


I’ve spoken at about 20 accounting conferences and have discovered that the average accountant still thinks paying off your home loan is the best thing to do. The broader-thinking ones know that using the principal part of your repayment to fund a second property purchase will make you much more money than you would otherwise save in tax.


Make sure that the accountant you use for your property investments is experienced in residential property.



A property valuer can not only tell you what your house is worth today, they can tell you what it’ll likely be worth next year, in five years, with a new kitchen, a paint job, or a second-storey addition. Why spend $50,000 on a new kitchen and bathroom if doing so will only add $30,000 to the value of your home? A valuer can give you this kind of valuable advice.


The irony in buying property is that most people love the house they’ll live in – and often pay too much for it – but make poor choices when finding an investment property. Many people will buy an investment that seems cheap compared to a similar property in their home suburb – and they might even buy interstate or out of the area they know in order to secure it.


Hiring a valuer every time you purchase a property will give you peace of mind that you’re making a sound investment.



Buyers’ agents are a relatively new phenomenon that few people are aware of, but they are also one of the best assets you can have on board. A buyers’ agent can do the legwork for you when you’re looking for an investment property. Why pound the pavement every weekend scoping out 100+ properties when a buyers’ agent with specialist knowledge in the local market can do this on your behalf?


Buyers’ agents have strong relationships with real estate agents, and have many sales comparisons to back-up their auction bids. They often buy properties before they go to market and negotiate from a stronger ground.


Most ‘mum and dad buyers’ get bored after a few open homes and end up buying anything at any price. Buyers’ agents are out there each week, no matter what happens, and anyone serious about growth needs to consider investing in one.



Not all professionals will be able to help you implement your wealth creation plan, so it’s vital to pick the right ones.


I always try to find professionals who are active property investors too. If they are investing personally, they will have done their research and know the pros and cons of each and every option.


Try asking other property investors which professionals they use, then network the contacts you already have. Your accountant will often know a few brokers who will know a few valuers, and so the network of good professionals continues.


I am always on the lookout for more professionals that I can use, and I often don’t ask how much they charge. I concentrate on getting the best advice possible and know that every dollar I spend will either reduce my risk or increase my profits.


Source: Chris Gray, Empire CEO



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Capital city home values edge higher over August

Dwelling values across Australia’s combined capital cities recorded a 0.5 per cent increase in August 2013 according to RP Data-Rismark’s Home Value Index, taking the cumulative gain in home values to 7.0 per cent since the market bottomed out in May last year.


The August result was a slowdown from previous months in which capital gains had been recorded at much higher rates. Nevertheless, the August result took the rolling three-month change in capital city dwelling values to 4.0 per cent – the highest rate of capital gain since the three months ending April 2010.


According to RP Data research director, Tim Lawless, the slower month-on-month result was a welcome sign after the strong growth conditions of previous months had fuelled renewed debates around the sustainability of Australian dwelling values.


“The half a per cent gain over the month of August is a much more sustainable rate of growth and will be a welcome turn of events for policy makers,” Mr Lawless said.


“While the recent surge in dwelling values has caused some renewed debate about an Australian housing bubble, it is important to remember that the average annual capital gain over the past decade has been just 4.3 per cent across the combined capital cities.


“In Sydney the annual rate of growth has seen a much lower decline of 2.4 per cent which is well below current inflation.”


RP Data noted that softer housing market conditions over August could be attributed to a lower rate of growth across the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets, where dwelling values rose by 0.6 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively. Several cities recorded a fall in values over the month, with Hobart posting a 1.2 per cent decline, and Perth values slipping by 0.2 per cent.


Mr Lawless said the most significant turnaround in market conditions had occurred in Brisbane, where the monthly rate of growth jumped to 1.5 per cent.


“Brisbane’s housing market has been underperforming since the onset of the GFC with home values still almost 10 per cent lower than their previous peak which was back in November 2009,” he explained.


“The strong result for August was evident across both the detached housing and the unit markets and may potentially mark a positive turning point for Brisbane’s housing market.”


Looking at the performance across the broad-pricing segments of the market, the RP Data-Rismark Stratified Hedonic Index continued to show the broad-middle segment as the best performing, although the rate of capital gain had gathered some momentum at the more prestigious end of the market.


The broad mid-priced market recorded a capital gain of 5.2 per cent since the start of the year, while the most expensive quartile had seen values increase by a less substantial 4.9 per cent. The most affordable quartile recorded the lowest rate of growth at 4.4 per cent.


Mr Lawless went on to predict strong housing market conditions for this year’s spring season.


“Housing market conditions are looking set to provide what could be described as a near-to perfect spring season with the number of homes currently available for sale around 15 per cent lower than a year ago,” he said.


“In Sydney, listing numbers are about 28 per cent lower than a year ago. The lower effective supply levels are a result of fewer new listings being added to the market and a higher rate of absorption, with a 30 per cent increase in sales activity compared with a year ago.


“We are already seeing a substantial increase in real estate agent activity across the RP Data platforms which indicate a surge in pre-listings activity,” Mr Lawless concluded.


Source: RPData



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State of the Market – Buyers Point of View

A recent survey conducted by realestateview.com.au has revealed an interesting snapshot of the current state of the market from a buyers perspective. Drawing information from more than 8,000 property seekers, results indicate demand from first home buyers is increasing and Australian’s are still striving for the great Australian home.

A snapshot of the real estate market from a buyer's point of view.

Key Findings

First Home Buyers are Flocking Back

First home buyers represented 29.4% of the property seeker market, making them the largest segment currently seeking property. This is a promising sign for the property market, as first home buyers have shown reluctance to buy in recent years. Encouraged, it seems, by the record low interest rates, nearly half of these first home buyers have only entered the market within the last three months.

The great Australian Dream is still in vogue

As the Australian population continues to grow and our cities become increasingly crowded, housing is becoming smaller and high rise living is becoming more prevalent. Despite this, however, it seems Australians still aspire for the Great Australian Dream with 66.9% looking to buy a house and less than 9% looking to buy an apartment.

Will the budget stretch far enough?

While the survey showed a strong preference towards purchasing a home, most were interested in properties selling for less than $400,000. Considering the median house price in Australian capital cities is above $400,000,property seekers may need to adjust their expectations or start looking at townhouses and apartments. View realestateview.com.au’s current state of the market infographic below;

Posted in Australia, Australian Home Buyers, Australian Homes, Banks, Buyer's need to pay attention To Details, Century 21, Century 21 Port Douglas, Far North Queensland, Housing Affordability, Housing Data, Interest Rates, Interest Rates Australia, Port Douglas, Property, Property Port Douglas, Property Tips, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lending Figures A Positive Sign For Housing Market

Century 21 Port Douglas Real Estate  believes that the increase seen in mortgage lending over July 2013 could foreshadow further improvements within Australia’s residential property market.

According to Phil Holloway – Principal and Licensee of Century 21 Port Douglas Real Estate “Housing finance data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that the number of owner occupied housing commitments increased by a seasonally adjusted 2.4 per cent in July as compared with June 2013,”

“This upward movement is positive news for the residential property market and we believe that further improvements could be seen over the coming months as the impact of the August interest rate cut becomes more evident.”

The ABS’ figures showed that the number of loans for the purchase of new homes increased by a seasonally adjusted 5.9 per cent in July 2013, to be up 52.1 per cent on July 2012.

Recent statistics from RP Data also highlighted robust auction activity in several key markets around Australia, with Sydney and Melbourne recording auction clearance rates of 84.3 per cent and 73.6 per cent, respectively, over the weekend.

“While no one can predict with any degree of certainty how Australia’s residential property market will play out over the coming months, the latest housing finance, dwelling value growth and auction clearance rate statistics are certainly encouraging signs as we move further towards the end of 2013,” concluded Phil Holloway.




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As Predicted, RBA Sits Tight on Interest Rates

Century 21, the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region, believes that the decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to keep interest rates on hold in September should bode well for the residential real estate market as the spring selling season commences.


“At its September meeting, the Reserve Bank elected to keep the official cash rate on hold at a historic low of 2.50 per cent,” said Chairman and Owner of Century 21 Australasia, Charles Tarbey.


“This move should help to maintain attractive borrowing conditions for prospective property buyers and existing mortgage holders, and may lead to increased buying activity in the coming months.”


The Reserve Bank reasoned that it was appropriate to leave the cash rate on hold, but said it would continue to assess the outlook and adjust policy as needed to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target rate.


The Reserve Bank’s decision follows the recent release of RP Data-Rismark’s Hedonic Home Value Index results, which showed that median home values In Australia’s capital cities rose 0.5 per cent in August 2013, to be up 5.3 per cent on August 2012.


“While it’s impossible to be sure of how this latest rate decision will affect market activity, there is a distinct possibility that more buyers will step off the sidelines over spring to take advantage of improving market conditions and increasingly attractive mortgage rates,” concluded Charles Tarbey.

Century 21 encourages prospective buyers that are looking to purchase real estate to ensure they have obtained the appropriate professional property and finance advice before doing so.



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How investments create financial freedom


People looking at buying their first investment property often express concern that investing will limit their financial freedom. Nothing could be further from the truth; property investment is a ticket to freedom. The current market presents ideal conditions for investors, and by beginning to steadily build up a portfolio, you can gain a dependable asset as well as a fantastic, flexible lifestyle.

A careful property investment strategy will, over time, start to provide you with long-term rewards and the freedom to focus on what really matters to you in life – perhaps it’s a job, taking time off to travel or raising a family. Whatever the case, you’ll be able to rest assured knowing that you’re backed by a bricks-and-mortar asset. Unlike you, your property portfolio is working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to constantly expand your wealth.



It took me nine years to gain financial freedom through property investment alone. I did this by focusing on buying smart and steadily building up my portfolio. Once you have one appreciating asset, you can build up equity, which can then be used to purchase your next property – without having to fund the purchase from your wages.

It is at that point that the financial benefits allow for change and freedom. For me, this meant I was able to abandon a nine-to-five job at the age of 31 and focus on my investments. I then turned what I love – property, television and education – into my “day job” as a buyer’s agent and TV host.

Well-chosen properties in key hubs in Australia generally double in value every seven to ten years and produce consistent yields. These types of returns are far better than those achieved by other asset classes such as shares, which is why I tell investors that property can offer the ultimate ticket to freedom.


Today, there are generally three ways to achieve real wealth: business, shares and property.

Many people start their own business to escape from a job, but often end up working twice as hard and benefiting only when they sell.

Shares can see massive value rises in a short time period, but their value can decline just as quickly.

Property is different: it is solid, stable and easy to understand; it is also fully supported by the government and banking systems. This is why you won’t likely see property owners panicking like shareholders might when the market takes a turn for the worse. Property can also be self-funded and provides a passive income.

The right investment decision varies depending on the individual, their goals and their risk appetite. However, most people will benefit from including residential property as part (if not all) of their investment strategy. Just remember to have some cash as a backup for unforeseen expenses, and always talk to a property expert who can help you with your investments before you begin.


I believe that property is the best possible investment – but the key to getting rewards is to buy smart. Make sure that you take into consideration factors that increase the property’s market desirability such as proximity to work places, public transport and leisure facilities. Also, be prepared to put in some research and footwork, or pay a professional to do this for you.

My investment strategy focuses on growth rather than rental returns. I believe you will do better by buying better, and when you can afford it. By steadily building a large portfolio, you can achieve solid long-term gains and cash flow to counteract any down times in the shorter term.


If you have twice the amount of assets, you should double your money and achieve freedom through property. This is why I advise investors to steadily build a large portfolio, with cash left over for emergencies.

By Chris Gray, Empire CEO


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Data Suggests A Strengthening Property Market in Port Douglas

Century 21 Port Douglas Real Estate is part of  the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region. Phil Holloway believes that recent increases in home loan approvals and dwelling price growth could suggest ongoing strengthening of the Port Douglas residential property market.


“Over the past month, a number of leading indicators have pointed to improving market conditions, which are encouraging signs leading into our wet season,” said Principal Phil Holloway of Century 21 Port Douglas.


“The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently released housing finance figures showing that the number of home loans approved in May lifted by a seasonally adjusted 2.7 per cent.


“In additional, RP Data-Rismark’s Home Value Index recorded a 1.6 per cent increase in July 2013, taking the cumulative recovery in capital city dwelling values to 6.5 per cent since May 2012.”


The Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index, which measures homeowner sentiment among mortgage holders, surged 7.2 per cent over the July quarter to reach its highest level on record.


“These statistics, in combination, suggest that confidence levels may be rising which, in turn, could translate to increased buying and borrowing activity in coming months,” continued Phil Holloway.


“With the Reserve Bank reducing the official cash rate by another 25 basis points in August, there is a chance that many more buyers will step off the sidelines leading into spring,” concluded Charles Tarbey.


Posted in Australia, Australian Home Buyers, Australian Homes, Century 21, Century 21 Port Douglas, Far North Queensland, Port Douglas, Property Investor, Property Port Douglas, Property Values, Propety Prices, Queensland | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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