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Why The Whitsundays Is An Investment Paradise For Southern Buyers

By Ray White Whitsunday

Improved housing affordability and skyrocketing demand for rental properties is transforming the Whitsundays in to an investment paradise for buyers from southern markets, according to PRDnationwide.

While data from SQM shows Sydney is experiencing its highest rental vacancy rates in 13 years, with more than 19,000 properties on the market, PRDnationwide reports show the Whitsundays is struggling to keep pace with demand from renters.

PRDnationwide Whitsunday research shows the number of houses rented over the past 12 months has increased by 89.8 per cent, while demand for units grew by 171.4 per cent.

PRDnationwide Whitsunday chief executive Annette Harm said investors from Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast were now eyeing investment properties in hotspots like Airlie Beach due to high demand, strong rental yields and comparatively affordable property prices.

Interstate investors have their eyes on hotspots like Airlie Beach. Photo: iStock

“The significantly increased take-up of rental properties has lifted weekly median rent and is supporting strong rental yields of above 5.5 per cent,” she said.

“The demand is such that investors are even purchasing off-the-plan properties in new communities like Whitsunday Lakes and One Airlie, because new homes have a rental premium and existing stock is being absorbed quickly.

“In the current market, investors can secure an investment property or holiday home for an average of $412, 500 or a unit for a median $231,000, and this compares very favourably with prices in capital cities and other major regional areas.

“Southern investors are starting to realise the Whitsundays is much more than a holiday hotspot – it is thriving on the back of $36 billion in major projects either planned or under construction.

Where the incredible One Airlie will sit. Photo: PRDnationwide Whitsunday

“With substantial growth indicated for the region – including major redevelopments of the Whitsunday islands, including Hayman, Daydream and Lindeman – we are seeing an influx of workers and their families looking for quality rental properties, providing a boost to the population and economy.”

The Whitsundays region remains high on the shopping list of luxury buyers as well, with Ray White reporting more than $52 million in prestige sales in the past year alone.

Sales were up 40 per cent in the year to June 2018,  compared to the equivalent 2016-17 period, said Mark Beale, principal of Ray White Whitsunday.

“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 said.

The beautiful Airlie Beach community, the Whitsundays. Photo: iStock

“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 puts millions into the local economy from servicing to provisioning.”

He said the town was nearly back to normal after Cyclone Debbie, which was branded as the most dangerous cyclone to hit Queensland since 2011.

“The $1.3 billion of insurance money into the region has had a very positive effect. There are still a lot of tradespeople here completing work and will be for another six months which is further fuelling the rental market,” he said.

“There are a lot of new estates and new houses getting built and the population is growing very well.

Units at Cannonvale, Whitsunday, sell for as little as the low $200,000s. Photo: First National Whitsunday Coast

“Value for money, you can still get a two-bedroom apartment for around $150,000 and get $250 to $300 per week rent.”

Ms Harm said while permanent rentals were in high demand, southerners were also searching for holiday homes to escape city life and enjoy the Whitsunday’s world famous beauty.

“We are seeing an increase in people from interstate and even overseas secure holiday homes. It’s a win-win situation as they are able to secure a property which not only provides a solid rental return but is a great place to relax and unwind.”

There has been a string of recent significant sales in the region, most recently a jaw-dropping Whitsundays estate sprawled across the edge of the Coral Sea, which sold prior to auction for $7.08 million.

Botanica, the award-winning Airlie Beach venue that sold prior to auction for $7.08 million. 119B Botanica Drive, Woodwark. Photo: Queensland Sotheby’s

Botanica, an award-winning Airlie Beach event venue that also functions as a glamorous private residence, was snapped up by an Australian company with Asia-Pacific connections before it went under the hammer.

Other high profile sales included Mandalay House, a stunning clifftop mansion with a private ocean-front wall marina, which sold for $14 million, and Aqua, a contemporary residence with one of the largest private pools in Australia, which reportedly sold for more than $12 million.

Carol Carter of Sotheby’s International Realty, Queensland said the sales meant more than just a great result for the vendors.

“This means a lot to the whole region,” she said. “What it signifies is that the Whitsundays are back. We’ve had three big sales in the past eight months and people are really sitting up now and taking notice.”

Botanica was also used as a wedding venue. Photo: Queensland Sotheby’s

Ms Carter said confidence at the top end of the market boosted confidence in the market overall.

“This region was a bit left behind. The area needed a lift and that’s exactly what’s happened. This isn’t the end of it either,” she said.

Source: Domain.com

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