Port Douglas housing market: What are the key issues?


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Barbara Wolveridge of Raine & Horne Real Estate Port Douglas believes the long-term property market in the region is promising. IMAGE: Supplied.

THE prospect of the younger generation getting into the housing market is becoming more difficult; the long-term outlook for Port Douglas is extremely positive; and the recent upgrade of the Sheraton Grand has had an impact on the real estate market in the town.

In a far-reaching interview with Newsport, Barbara Wolveridge, of BMW Real Estate Pty. Ltd., in conjunction with Raine & Horne Real Estate, Port Douglas, said these are among some of the issues impacting the real estate market.

“There is no question it is constantly getting more difficult for our children to get into the property market, especially as they no longer want to stay at home with their parents.

“But an ordinary run-down house with boxes for tables and chairs. This is not what they want. They would prefer the bells and whistles from the outset and this may not be possible. This is making it difficult for them,” she said.

This is one of the major concerns for first-time buyers, who are encouraged to do their due diligence and not be tempted into going with the first house that falls into their price range, or simply continue to rent. 

Wolveridge is somewhat buoyant about the long-term outlook in Port Douglas.

“I think the long-term property market here is an excellent prospect. There is always a lot on the market because of the nature of the town.

“It seems the cycle of owning up here is seven to 10 years, and then selling. I think people would be very surprised if they knew just how many sales went through this little town of about 3,000 in one year; it's amazing.

“Some people have made money, others have lost. It’s always about the cycle of when you are buying and when you are selling. It’s hard to get it right all the time,” she said.

Wolveridge believes with people now travelling less, they are drawn to regions like Port Douglas.

“I think the appeal of Port Douglas is definitely on the rise. The problems associated with travelling have bought more people to our shores who possibly would not have come. They then fall in love and say yes, this is a safe haven for me and our family so we will purchase something here.

“Property values are still low here compared to our major cities. This is impacting us as well. People are amazed in the lower end of the scale to the higher end as to what great value we still are. I can see with everything going on here at the moment we are going to boom in the next 18 months. It is time to buy here,” she said.

She adds that what’s occurred at the Sheraton Grand and other resorts in the town do have an overall impact on the market.

“Speaking for our company, and following the Sheraton’s make-over, we have been selling as many properties as we can get hold of in the Sheraton grounds.

“Three years ago you virtually couldn't give them away. I do believe it impacts all real estate. This has been a bumper year for agents,” said Wolveridge.  

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