If you’re asking yourself what the hell happened in 2020, you’re not alone. The year brought on a barrage of complex emotional turmoil that none of us were prepared for.
The pandemic started making tracks in January but was a fully radioactive out-of-control fireball by March.
We all got a taste of that shutdown life and the year 2020 effectively became the year of pleasedonttouchme and quarantine activities. As we all navigated our way through a daze of cancelling travel plans, finding ways to work from home and home-schooling our children without setting ourselves on fire, the residents of Far North Queensland held onto their homes with fervour.
Amongst all this uncertainty, there was good reason for vendors to resist listing their property. Listings became tighter, and buyer demand grew hotter.
Not spending our hard-earned cash and time off on our usual lavish holidays abroad, combined with historically low-interest rates, low rental vacancy and rising rents, has pushed us into purchasing a home, upgrading our current property, and buying up land.
Research by Corelogic suggests more than 25,000 people have moved to Queensland during the past financial year, with the rate of interstate migration 90 per cent higher than the decade average.
Cairns has always been a hot holiday destination, and now more than ever we have the attention of our southern friends. Far North Queensland is increasingly being seen as a desirable place to relocate to escape the capital cities and cramped apartment living. Many properties are selling sight unseen, other than virtually.
This mismatch between supply and demand has created an urgency in the market. Many buyers are cashed-up and making quick decisions. As soon as a property is listed, we are inundated, getting multiple offers, good numbers through open homes, and are often selling before it has even hit the internet.
This is especially true for homes that are well-presented and well-priced. The fastest selling properties in the Cairns region right now are those in the mid-range – $400,000 to $600,000, four-bedroom / two-bathroom homes, and usually with a pool.
Unique properties sitting on lush acreage blocks above $900,000 have also been snapped up. Land sales have skyrocketed, thanks to Government incentives like the HomeBuilder grant. If you have it, we will sell it.
But there is hope for buyers in what is arguably a sellers’ market. Interest rates will remain low, that’s forecast for the next couple years. Money has never been cheaper to borrow.
In the long-term, Cairns will be a strong investment. The fundamentals are all still there.
Looking ahead to the first half of this year, we believe that we will see a lift in the supply of new properties listed for sale. The combination of strong demand, rising prices and the lowest borrowing costs on record is expected to result in vendors feeling more comfortable listing their properties.