Whitsundays back on the rise
FROM $14m waterfront mansions to $150,000 two bedroom units, the Whitsundays has emerged from a $1.3b funding injection as a hot destination for savvy buyers.
Latest CoreLogic data shows that in the last three months, a third of suburbs in the Whitsundays region were showing median house price growth - a year and a half after Cyclone Debbie torn through the area.
One of the areas most prominent agents, Ray White Whitsunday owner Mark Beale has seen sales jump 40 per cent in the year to June 2018 compared to the same period last year.
Top Whitsundays growth suburbs
(Past three months)
Cannon Valley 17%
Hideaway Bay 16%
Glen Isla 12.7%
Gregory River 12.5%
He said a $1.3 billion insurance injection was playing a big part in that story.
"Not too long ago there were a lot of high end homes for sale and they had been for sale for quite some time but you can feel there's a confidence in the air now."
Some big dollars have been going into sales in the area since March 2017 - the month Cyclone Debbie hit - with seven of some of the biggest house sales by agents in the area totalling $51.63m.
Some of the biggest sales since Cyclone Debbie have been a $14 million deal for Mandalay House in Airlie Beach a year ago, $13m for 4/383 Mandalay Road, Mandalay, $7.5m for 1 Oceanview Ave, Airlie Beach and $7.08m for Villa Botanica in Woodwark in August.
Whitsundays notable luxury sales since Cyclone Debbie
$14M - Mandalay House, Airlie Beach
$13M - 4/383 Mandalay Rd, Mandalay
$5M - Heaven's Gate, 860 Gloucester Ave, Whitsunday
$7.08M - Villa Botanica - 119B Botanica Drive, Woodwark
$7.5M - 1 Oceanview Ave, Airlie Beach
$3.4M - 371 Mandalay Rd, Mandalay
$1.65M - 305 Mandalay Rd, Mandalay
(Source: Ray White)
Grand homes damaged during the storm have also sold - including Chesapeake at 184 Mandalay Road, Mandalay - which sold for $1.66m in March this year, 12 months after the cyclone. The 19.32ha site was sold "as is" after their roof "suffered significant damage". They had paid $2m for the property five years before the sale.
Mr Beale told The Courier-Mail there were now much less such homes coming to market: "Only a small percentage of them (houses in the area) are in the $3m to $5m-plus range. It's only last few years some have come on the market.
"Someone with $3m to $5m plus walking into the area now, (will find) there are maybe two houses available. They really have to build and, luckily, at the moment there's some really good quality land available in Airlie."
Whitsundays: Longest days on market
Crystal Brook 319 days
Cannon Valley 271 days
Airlie Beach 268 days
Gregory River 182 days
Mount Marlow 154 days
Collinsville 135 days
Jubilee Pocket 112 days
Suburbs with the longest days on market for houses in the Whitsundays include Crystal Brook 319 days, Cannon Valley 271 days, Airlie Beach 268 days, Gregory River 182 days and Mount Marlow 154 days. Generally buyers may find owners open to good offers on properties that have been on the market for extended periods.
Mr Beale expected the return of high end buyers and savvy investors to the market because of the value offers and the upswing in economic activity.
"Value for money, you can still get a two-bedroom apartment for around $150,000 and get $250-$300pw rent. These units pre-GFC were selling for $250,000 to $280,000. My prediction is that investors from Sydney and Melbourne will continue to see excellent ROI and purchase these and I wouldn't be surprised if they were at $200,000 soon."
Rents increased about 10 per cent after Cyclone Debbie, he said.
The effect of $1.3b in insurance money flooding into the region post disaster was "very positive", he said.
"There are a lot of new estates and new houses getting built and the population is growing very well … The town is nearly back to normal after Cyclone Debbie. There are still a lot of tradespeople here completing work and will be for another six months which is further fuelling the rental market."