Luxury properties along the pristine shores of the Whitsundays are surging into the sights of cashed-up local and interstate buyers who have spent more than $52 million in prestige sales and more deals are on the horizon.
And it’s not just local buyers splashing around in the much-loved Queensland islands, with the idyllic sun-blessed isles also catching the eye of the international crowd chasing more than a part time bolt-holes.
The new breed of buyers includes Asian families seeking out dream homes, US entrepreneurs and northern hemisphere yachties chasing a local base.
Carol Carter, of Queensland Sotheby’s International Realty, who recently handled the sale of popular wedding venue Villa Botanica at Woodwark, that sold to foreign interests for $7.080m, says the area is firmly on the radar of international buyers. Carter says the area has come of age for global home purchasers.
“They want to buy where they are safe economically, safe personally and safe from a government point of view,” she says.
“There is a growing interest from four corners of the globe.”
Prospective buyers want places where they can combine living, working and playing, and this is on offer in the Whitsundays.
Foreigners are also targeting sites that they can develop themselves and Carter hints the area will see more major sales.
Local buyers are also swooping on mansions as the area puts the global financial crisis and Cyclone Debbie well behind it.
Seven properties have fetched over $1.65m in the past 12 months, with the top two properties, Mandalay House and Mandalay Aqua, achieving sales of $14m and $13m respectively. Ray White Whitsunday boosted sales by 40 per cent in the year to June 2018, compared to 2016-17 year, and says the area appeals to water lovers.
“We will see more high-end buyers come to the Whitsundays and we will see more larger boats, in particular super yachts, over 200 feet long, which put millions into the local economy from servicing to provisioning,” Ray White Whitsunday owner Mark Beale says.
“High-end buyers love the anonymity of Airlie Beach. They can wear thongs, shorts and a singlet and no one cares. They can easily fly in with or without their friends, stay at their luxury property and go out on their boats for the day around the islands and reef,” he says.
Sprawling Mediterranean-inspired resort Mandalay House was bought by a private company associated with Tony Tartak, patriarch of the family behind stock market darling Bingo Industries.
Neighbouring Mandalay Aqua, surrounded by the sea on three sides with its own private cove, was sold as a holiday home to a private company associated with the owners of Central Cleaning Supplies.
Beale says he was cautiously optimistic about the outlook for next year.
“The value-for-money equation is still very good but we are still nowhere back to pre-GFC prices,” he adds.
“The rental vacancy rate of around 3 per cent is healthy and with mining picking up we will see more mining families choose to live here while one partner commutes to work.
“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.
“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,” Beale says.
Architecturally designed beach-view property 1/188 Mandalay Road, Airlie Beach, is hoping for buyers around the $4.4m mark, and it certainly won’t be the last mansion to sell this year.
Source: The Australian.