Century 21 Port Douglas Blog

Tourists Flocking Back To The Beach…..and Port Douglas

Source:

HOTELIERS and investors have spent little money refurbishing and developing the nation’s beach resorts, but domestic tourists are returning to flop-and-drop destinations, with research showing the Whitsundays, Port Douglas, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie are back in favour.

As the dollar drops against the greenback, the nation’s $95 billion tourism industry is also expected to draw more foreign visitors, according to tourism executives such as Sandy Oatley, the owner of Queensland’s Hamilton Island. “It all helps,” Mr Oatley said this week.

Overall revenue per available room – the standard industry measure – at the nation’s beach resorts increased 13.6 per cent in the March quarter due to higher occupancies and a 6.3 per cent growth in room rates, according to the TTF-Hostplus National Accommodation Barometer, released today.

Port Douglas in north Queensland was the strongest performer, with revenue per available room up 38.4 per cent in the March quarter, driven by a 21 per cent rise in room rates and a drop in the number of available rooms. Resorts in Queensland’s Whitsundays reported 13.2 per cent growth in revenue per available room.

Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive Ken Morrison said it had been the best summer in five years for beach destinations.

In contrast, revenue per available room in mining and resource centres such as Western Australia’s Pilbara and Kalgoorlie regions and Queensland’s Mackay and Gladstone districts dropped an average 14.4 per cent as occupancies slid 13 per cent compared to the 2012 March quarter. However, it is not all grim news for the mining capitals.

Darwin’s revenue per available room growth was 28 per cent in the March quarter.

Revenue per available room in Cairns grew a healthy 12.2 per cent and even the Gold Coast, which has struggled for several years to draw tourists, reports 10.6 per cent growth in revenue per available room in the March quarter. But some cities struggled. Although Canberra has had few new hotel rooms added to its supply in recent years, its revenue per available room fell 4.7 per cent for the quarter, with the city struggling with weak occupancies of 69.9 per cent in the quarter, well down on the highs of 80.2 per cent achieved in the first quarter of 2010.

Regional destinations such as South Australia’s much-hyped Kangaroo Island were also down. Revenue per available room dropped 6.5 per cent in the March quarter with rates dropping nearly 4 per cent.

But high-profile tourism executive James Baillie, owner of the luxury Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island, reports revenue per available room at his resort is up 6 per cent.

“I have no idea how or where they get such information from,” Mr Baillie said.

Broome enjoyed a 24 per cent spike in revenue per available room with occupancies and room rates lifting.

“This was the strongest low season since 2008 and reflects the strength observed in other domestic leisure markets over the most recent summer,” the TTF-Hostplus report said.

And while Darwin is performing well, the Kakadu Arnhem region reports a 15.8 per cent drop in revenue per available room in the March quarter.

“Shifting consumer demand (is) driving a sharp 17.3 point decline in occupancy over the past five years – from 42.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2008 to 24.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2013,” the report said.

Of the wine regions, Western Australia’s Margaret River was a solid performer with revenue per available room up 10.5 per cent in the March quarter.

This compared to NSW’s Hunter Valley where revenue per available room grew less than 1 per cent over the March quarter.

 

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Housing Market Holds Opportunities For Buyers

Century 21 Port Douglas part of the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region, believes that Australia’s residential property market is presenting some strong purchase opportunities for prospective buyers.

“We are seeing a number of factors combine to make the national housing market a relatively attractive buying environment at present,” said Chairman and Owner of Century 21 Australasia, Charles Tarbey.

“Interest rates remain at historic lows, national stock levels have trended upwards over recent weeks and auction clearance rates are robust in several markets. “In particular, there appear to be strong buying opportunities in discretionary spending areas where prices haven’t quite picked up yet, and at the top end of the market where price growth is generally heavily influenced by economic conditions and the success of high-net-worth individuals.”

The most recent RP Data Buy vs Rent report found that there were 692 suburbs across Australia where it was cheaper to pay a mortgage than a rental lease – a 286.6 per cent increase from the corresponding period in 2012.

“For buyers who are willing to step off the sidelines, there could be an opportunity to make some very fortuitous purchase decisions – provided that they can locate good quality stock in the right areas,” concluded Charles Tarbey.

Century 21 Port Douglas Real Estate 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.

“It is wise that buyers have a firm idea about their property buying budget before they embark on house hunting, this will avoid disappointment down the track” says Phil Holloway – Principal of Century 21 Port Douglas Real Estate.

The Principal of Century 21 Port Douglas goes on to say that “Many financial brokers and institutions can assist buyers by conducting a certified valuation on a property they are interested in purchasing.”

With over 3,000 offices, Century 21 is the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region, a region vital to Australia’s continued economic success.

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Port Douglas Property Update

The median sales price in the suburb Port Douglas for Jan to Mar 2013 is $248,250 based on 62 government verified sales. This represents a 35.1% decrease when compared to the same period as last year.

In addition to this, compared to the same period last year, there was a increase of 31.9% in the number of properties sold from 47 to 62 recorded government verified sales. There are currently 144 for sale listings in Port Douglas.

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Unchanged Interest Rate Good News For Port Douglas Borrowers

Century 21 Port Douglas real estate is part of the biggest sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region, and Phil Holloway Principal/Licensee believes that the decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia to hold interest rates at 2.75 per cent will provide an ongoing incentive for Far North Queensland homebuyers and investors looking to make a property purchase.

“An excellent decision for Australia’s residential property market, with the Reserve Bank electing to keep the official cash rate on hold for a second consecutive month,” said Principal and Licensee  of Century 21 Port Douglas Real Estate, Phil Holloway.

Phil Holloway believes this is welcome news for those in a position to buy a property as the cash rate remains at a 53-year low. “It comes at a time when the housing market  in Port Douglas, Cooya Beach, and Mossman looks to be improving in a number of areas.” said Phil Holloway. “We are experiencing an increase in buyer confidence and activity especially with people prepared to buy land and build residential property.”

As part of its decision, the Reserve Bank reasoned that it was appropriate to leave the cash rate unchanged as easing financial conditions would contribute to a strengthening of growth over time, consistent with achieving the inflation target.

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 1.9 per cent in June, to be up 3.8 per cent throughout the 2012/13 financial year.

In addition to rising capital city dwelling values, we are seeing many Port Douglas investors receiving strong rental returns for the first time in four years” continued Phil Holloway.

Auction clearance rates have remained strong in Sydney and Melbourne, and we generally follow suit up here in Far North Queensland.  National stock levels have increased, and there is an array of attractive finance packages on the market – factors that should encourage buying activity moving forward.


Phil Holloway is Co-Owner and Principal of Century 21 Port Douglas Real Estate. Phil has 26 years real estate experience in Port Douglas and the surrounding shire. Phil came to the real estate industry after 20 years in the Dept. of Education as a teacher, special education consultant and School Principal. For competent, sound and valuable advice in buying or selling, contact Phil and be guaranteed of the best service. Call Phil on 0419 419 419 anytime. 

 

Posted in Auctions, Australia, Australian Home Buyers, Australian Homes, Banks, Century 21, Century 21 Port Douglas, Cooya Beach, Interest Rates, Interest Rates Australia, Mossman, Port Douglas, Property, Property Investor, Property Port Douglas, Property Values, Propety Prices, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great News For Home Buyers – RBA Keeps Rates On Hold

The Reserve Bank of Australia today decided to hold the official cash rate at 2.75 per cent – a decision that is expected to provide an ongoing incentive for homebuyers and investors looking to make a property purchase.

 

Posted in Australia, Australian Home Buyers, Australian Homes, Banks, Century 21, Century 21 Port Douglas, First Home Buyers, Home Loans, Housing Affordability, Housing Data, Interest Rates, Investors, Port Douglas, Property, Property Investor, Property Management, Property Port Douglas, Property Tips, Property Values, Propety Prices, RBA, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Port Douglas Property Update

 

Thanks to Herron Todd White for the below report. Whilst it does not refer directly to Port Douglas, Cairns is our closest statistical indicator of Month to Month property trends.
The Cairns property market has been experiencing stronger levels of sales activity for some time, but the increasing volumes are only just starting to translate through to higher prices.

Prices have been increasing by up to 5% over the last twelve months inthe more popular suburbs but the overall median has been generally steady.

The overall April 2013 Cairns median house price trend stood at $353,300, which is 1.8% higher than it was in April 2012.

Cairns is over the hump of the forced property sales which inundated the market and kept prices depressed during 2012.
The incidence of Mortgagee-in-Possession (MIP) and Receiver property sales has reduced by 70%, from a peak of 15% of the market in May 2012 to 4.5% of the market in March 2013.
The cleanout of MIP and receiver stock is another positive sign for the Cairns property.

Source: Herron Todd White – Independent Property Valuers

Bottom of the Cycle for Cairns and Port Douglas

 

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Holiday Lets – Risks and Rewards

Renting out an investment property as short stay accommodation can be lucrative, but it can also come with some associated risks. Furniture, games consoles, cutlery and crockery can be broken or stolen – making inventory management and insurance for short stay letting a must.

Holidaying guests are more likely to enjoy a drink or three, which raises the prospects of them injuring themselves, damaging your furniture and/or annoying the neighbours. Short stay lets in properties zoned “residential” are very common but, surprisingly, lie in legally murky waters.

In two recent landmark court decisions, authorities ruled that short stays did not constitute “dwelling” and, as such, were not permitted under a residential zoning.

The first case, heard by the Building Appeals Board, related to an apartment block in the Watergate Complex in Melbourne’s Docklands, which was nicknamed ‘Partygate’. The building’s manager, Marshall Delves, testified that short-stay guests caused the majority of problems including: fire brigade call-outs; parties involving large groups of young people; blocked fire exits; and increased maintenance charges.

In the second case, the owner of a six-bedroom holiday home in New South Wales was banned from renting the property for periods of less than three months. The NSW Land and Environment Court was told that the Terrigal property had been used for short stays for bucks and hens parties, with late-night noise and strippers disturbing a family who lived next door on a year-round basis.

Gosford City Council is preparing to address the ruling by specifically allowing holiday lets in certain types of residential-zoned properties. This would follow the lead set by other proactive coastal areas in which holiday rentals are an important source of revenue.

General Manager of EBM Insurance Brokers RentCover, Sharon Fox-Slater, said the decisions could potentially have ramifications in every state in Australia.

“The common thread here is that action was taken because the holidaymakers caused problems,” Ms Fox-Slater explained.

“Short-stay accommodation requires more work than a regular rental arrangement. Professional property management is key to making sure that your investment isn’t occupied by troublemakers.

“Regular landlord insurance is not appropriate for guests staying only a day or two. Owners need an insurance specific to the industry, such as RentCoverShortTerm.”

Conflicts between long-term residents and holidaymakers have prompted the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales to develop a Holiday Rental Code of Conduct, launched in March.

Source: EBM insurance

Holiday Home In Port Douglas

 

Posted in Australia, Australian Home Buyers, Australian Homes, Century 21 Port Douglas, Far North Queensland, Home Ownership, Housing Affordability, Housing Data, Investors, Property, Property Insurance, Property Investor, Property Port Douglas, Property Tips, Property Values | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rising Consumer Sentiment A Positive Sign For the Port Douglas Housing Market

Century 21 Port Douglas Real Estate, part of the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region, believes that the recent upward shift in housing market sentiment, as seen in RP Data-Nine Rewards Consumer Housing Market Sentiment Survey, is a positive sign for the national housing market.


The May 2013 survey showed that 80 per cent of respondents believe that now is a good time to buy a home and 41 per cent expected dwelling values to rise over the next six months. Both measures represent a considerable improvement in the views of consumers from the October 2012 survey.

“It is not surprising that housing market sentiment has increased when one considers the lending environment and steady house price growth that we saw over the first quarter of this year,” said Chairman and Owner of Century 21 Australasia, Charles Tarbey.

“Capital city dwelling values rose 2.9 per cent in the year to May 2013, auction clearance rates are currently robust in Sydney and Melbourne, and interest rates are at 53-year lows.

“These factors, in combination, have likely had a positive impact on consumer sentiment and should further encourage new buyer activity and inquiry over the coming months.”

The RP Data-Nine Rewards statistics preceded housing finance figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which showed that the number of home loan approvals increased by a seasonally-adjusted 0.8 per cent in April, with the number of new home loans approved rising 3.5 per cent to a three-and-a-half year high.

“While it appears that many people are still preferring to pay down debt rather than take on additional loans, the recently reported increases in housing finance – particularly for investors and new homes – strengthens the view that consumer confidence may be returning to the property market,” concluded Charles Tarbey.

“The last six months the Port Douglas property market has seen a steady increase in buyers particularly those looking for retirement homes and residential investments,” said Century 21 Port Douglas Real Estate Franchise Owner Ian Johnson.

“In the last 3 months, the Port Douglas Real Estate market has also seen a renewed interest from buyers wanting to secure a parcel of vacant land to build on. This trend shows that confidence in the Port Douglas Real Estate market is coming back ” continued Century 21 Port Douglas Real Estate Franchise Owner Ian Johnson.

“We are optimistic that our traditional selling season which runs from June through to October will be a bumper year in Port Douglas.” concluded Century 21 Port Douglas Real Estate Franchise Owner Ian Johnson.

Ian Johnson - Century 21 Port Douglas Real Estate Owner/Auctioneer/Senior Sales Consultant

Ian Johnson - Century 21 Port Douglas Real Estate Owner/Auctioneer/Senior Sales Consultant

 

With over 3,000 offices, Century 21 is the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region, a region vital to Australia’s continued economic success.

 

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RATES STAY ON HOLD BUT ECONOMISTS WARN OF FURTHER RATE CUTS

The Reserve Bank has today kept the cash rate on hold at 2.75% – in line with the predictions of most senior economists in Australia, sighting the major reason as the recent depreciation of the Australian dollar against the US dollar.  TD Securities’ head of Asia-Pacific Research, Annette Beacher stated that “the six percent fall in the Australian dollar since the May Board meeting removes the urgency for near-term action.”
In an overall sense, it appears that low inflation data is providing grounds for potential further rate cuts in the months ahead. Inflation rose by a minimal 0.2% in May following the last rate cut, but was offset by low fuel prices and declines in domestic travel costs. This represents a 0.1% decrease since April, and sees the annual inflation rate approach the lower end of the target band of 2-3% at 2.2%.
Furthermore, property prices took a hit over the month, declining by 1.2% nationwide. Job ads continued to fall by 2.4%. If figures continue this way or if they worsen, we could see another rate cut as early as next month.
According to Westpac’s Chief Economists, Bill Evan “the markets are currently pricing a 76% probability that a cut of 25bps will happen by August 2013 and a 100% probability of that cut occurring by year’s end and a 75% probability of a second cut in that timeframe”.

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How to buy and negotiate like a professional and bag a bargain

Smart investors know that when purchasing property, the right property hardly ever means the absolute cheapest property. Market research and networking are crucial when looking to bag a bargain. It’s also equally important to be in-the-know in regards to silent sales.

 

Also, act with timeliness if you want a successful portfolio that will build wealth. Smart investors will know when to watch out for market opportunities that will help them bag a bargain.

 

SILENT SALES

A silent sale is a property that is sold before being advertised to the public. This can be beneficial for buyers as there is no competition and they may be able to get the property for a cheaper price. Here’s how:

 

  • Professional buyers’ agents often buy properties as silent sales. They can do this more easily because they have built up a relationship with local agents and know when a property is coming up for sale.

 

  • The public can increase their chances of purchasing silent sale properties by building up                            a relationship with agents.

 

  • This takes time and money, so the alternative is to invest in a buyers’ agent who has pre-existing connections and knowledge.

 

SPEED

Time is of the essence; you can often get a better price by simply having a signed contract a few hours before someone else. Giving an agent a signed unconditional contract with a 10 per cent deposit is often a guaranteed deal, and agents love knowing that the deal will go through.

The key to beating others to a deal is to recognise opportunities, have the property pre-inspected (valuer, builder, strata and pest) and make a quick decision. If you concentrate on issues that are worth a few thousand dollars, you could miss out on a deal that could potentially make tens of thousand dollars in the long term.

 

BUYING THE RIGHT PROPERTY DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN BUYING THE CHEAPEST

When it comes to bagging a bargain, you must ensure that you purchase the right property; this is the main factor that will enable you to build long-term capital gain and develop a successful property portfolio. To buy and negotiate like a professional, your strategy doesn’t have to be complicated – it’s often the simple things that work to amplify your property goals and help you achieve great financial success in the long term.

 

By Chris Gray, Empire CEO

 

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