The Smartline Report – September Edition

The month in review: Cairns

By Herron Todd White
September 2016

The traditional home in the Cairns early days was a high set timber Queenslander dwelling, and indeed, this type of dwelling continues to dominate the urban environment in the near city suburbs such as Cairns North, Parramatta Park, Bungalow, Westcourt, Manunda and Edge Hill. However construction over the past thirty to forty years has shifted to low set rendered block homes, with houses in the Cairns outer suburbs now almost exclusively of this type. New timber homes are now a complete rarity in Cairns, seemingly only being constructed as pole homes on difficult (steep) sites where slab-on-ground becomes impractical.

The progression to low set homes has been largely for financial reasons, due to rendered block homes having significantly cheaper build costs compared to timber dwellings. Rendered block homes are also typically quicker to build than timber homes and there is a lesser number of builders with timber building skills.

Most people with their heart set on living in a high set timber home now opt to buy an older Queenslander dwelling in a near city suburb that has been renovated, or purchase an unrenovated Queenslander dwelling with a view to renovation. By way of example, renovated Queenslanders in Parramatta Park currently command a market range typically of $450,000 to $600,000, compared to a typical market range of $350,000 to $450,000 for unrenovated dwellings.

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