Why the Douglas Shire real estate market is a good bet

REAL ESTATE

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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The Douglas Shire has been identified as one of the Top 12 affordable regional areas in PRDnationwide’s new Ready, Set, Go … Regional report.


PRD national research manager Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo said a goal of the report was to offer some hope to first-home buyers or investors who feel out-priced in capital city or metro markets.

“There were opportunities in the regional markets and sometimes ‘even better opportunities’ considering the median purchase price and return-on-investment perspectives.

“We want to highlight out-of-the-box places that people may not have thought of – whether as an owner-occupier or investor – to build their wealth in,” she said.


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In welcoming the news, realtor Steve Doble, who oversees Property Sales and Marketing for LJ Hooker Port Douglas, said when you look at the criteria for deciding on regions’ comparative performances, then affordability, reasonable investment returns along with very high occupancy rates, and finally infrastructure spending (mainly from Council using State and Federal funds), it was automatic to select Douglas.

Mark Flinn, Sales Manager and Licensee for Ray White Port Douglas, said we are seen as a premier boutique town in the eyes of most; and the fact that we still represent some good value in the current market has attracted some strong attention.

In terms of whether the market has picked up, Mr Doble said 2017 was “The Year” to be honest in local real estate, after several years of slower growth.

“In 2018 we saw an approximate 25% reduction in the number of property sales, and in most segments the oversupply of available stock still makes it a buyers’ market.

“Melbourne and Sydney markets continue to influence ours and the Labor Party’s planned revision of negative gearing could have a devastating impact on property investment Australia wide, especially in the Douglas Shire,” he said.

Mr Flinn said there have been some really good sales go through over the last six months, which is a positive.

“I would say that we have levelled out a little now though and that this upcoming season will prove where we are at in the current market.

“If we have a good tourist season then this should assist the property market as well,” he said.

Both agreed there are a number of factors that set the shire apart and why it was singled out in the report.

“Environmental virtues and diversity sets the shire apart. I think back to the Melbourne University study on tourism done some eight years ago – the key reason Australians visit here is how we offer relaxation and a supportive community vibe to enjoy yourself. 

“The locals make it, simply! Land affordability too, so close to the wonderful coastline we have, albeit variety of available land under the current town plan seems to be a closed shop,” said Mr Doble.

Mr Flinn believes it is the fact that the shire offers such a different lifestyle alternative to what anyone living in the city experiences.

“Anyone that lives near a city has to deal with over population and the hustle and bustle and with that comes high unaffordable property prices.

“I think people are starting to realise that you waste so much time away in life when you are commuting or stuck in traffic.

“I think when people experience a taste of Port Douglas and realise that there is a different lifestyle out there, that this is what sets us apart,” he said.

Mr Doble said we are, at long last, again a shire on the move and this is before Crystalbrook’s expenditure and the expected rental demand and price increases that will follow.

 

 

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