QUEENSLAND MARKET MONITOR is a quarterly electronic publication entirely focused on residential sales and rental research data for regions throughout the State, on a suburb-by-suburb basis. Statistics for the June quarter have just been released, and I have included the information specific to the Cairns region below to keep you informed on what’s going on in the Cairns Property Market.
The Cairns residential property market continues to see steady conditions prevail with certain segments of the market outperforming others.
According to local agents, general confidence in the market is improving. The tourism market is said to be slowly but surely recovering, although it still has some way to go. Further improvement in gross yields for holiday accommodation will likely see new hotel developments pick up again.
Local agents say that Cairns is seeing a balanced property market between buyers and vendors, which is resulting in stable days on market and average vendor discounting rates.
Listing numbers over the year have also held steady for both houses and units reflecting this equilibrium. The region also holds the lowest level of excess supply of all major regions in Queensland.
The outlook for the region is said to be reasonably positive, with continued improving market conditions expected for the balance of the year.
Over the June quarter, the Cairns house market saw sales activity ease slightly, down four per cent, however over the year to June sales numbers were up five per cent. The region’s median house price meanwhile remained unchanged over the quarter at $390,000.
The prestige end of the house sales market has performed well, with buyer enquiries strong in the $2-million plus bracket. Buyers are reportedly seeing value for money once more in this end of the market. Over the June quarter, three homes sold for in excess of $1 million dollars.
Properties priced between $300,000 and $1 million are spending longer on the market, according to local agents. Overall however, average days on market have improved to 65 days – now equalling Toowoomba as the fastest-selling regional centre.
Average vendor discounting has pushed out slightly over the three months to June to 6.1 per cent. This is said to be largely due to some vendors beginning to test the market by listing at a higher price.
In the unit market, the affordable end is performing strongest with relatively affordable prices offsetting the ongoing costs that in recent years have deterred investors from the unit market.
Overall volumes are up 17 per cent compared to the March quarter, with the median sale price remaining steady at $219,500.
According to local agents, investors are once more focusing on the Cairns unit market, with the inner city receiving the most attention. Listings however are reportedly slow at coming onto the market, indicating that this segment of the Cairns property market will see steady improvements moving forward.
Unlike the house market, Cairns’ unit and townhouse market has recorded an improvement in its average vendor discounting rate, down 0.7 percentage points to seven per cent over the 12 months to May 2015.
Average days on market have likewise seen strong improvement, down 11 days compared to a year ago.
At the end of June, the REIQ’s residential rental survey found Cairns vacancy rate had eased further, to 2.7 per cent – the highest the region has seen in more than three years.
Local agents say tenant demand has softened coupled with new unit developments adding to supply. While investors are buying in Cairns once more, current investors are taking advantage of the improved market conditions and selling their properties.
According to figures from the RTA, median rents remain healthy despite the easing vacancy rate. As a result gross yields have improved significantly for both house and unit rentals. At 6.2 per cent, Cairns’ gross house yield is the highest of all major regions. While a gross unit yield of 5.8 per cent ranks second, after Logan City’s 5.9 per cent for the June quarter.
A thank you to Deborah Duffy for providing me with a copy the latest REIQ Qld Market Monitor report. If you’d like a full copy of the report simply email Deb at email@example.com
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Jason Thomson | Finance Broker and Mortgage Adviser | Smartline Cairns