We check in with local property expert, Callum Jones of The Pink Company, for an analysis of the local property market. Callum reports a renewed sense of optimism and confidence in the market but also expresses his concerns over a need for more facilities and upgrades to ‘set the stage’ for the impression of Port Douglas and the lifestyle our region has to offer.
0437 981 195
Licensed Real Estate Agent No. 3585760
Director and Licensee, The Pink Company P/L T/A Real Estate Port Douglas
❝Being in an area that boasts a superb tropical climate, is relaxed, is quiet, is incredibly safe in terms of worldly troubles and is importantly within an hour of an airport which provides connections to all major Australian cities and direct to international Asian hubs really sets us apart from all other locations.
It has been proven throughout the pandemic that even with a massive downturn in tourism there is still a growing confidence in our region as a place to live-whether that be permanently, or for extended periods. If you take away the tourism we still have World Heritage ancient rainforest and reef on our doorstep-with a fantastic climate.
The sales activity seen over the four months from July to October has been beyond every local real estate agents expectations especially following the incredibly quiet, preceding four months.
Having enquiries and then sales completed after virtual inspections on zoom calls, property videos, 360 degree tours and floor plans has become quite commonplace. It is an adaption we have made to the marketing of properties and buyers are completing their own research from home and offices without a real need to inspect. The preparation time to bring a property to market has increased, but it is proven when done correctly, that good results can be achieved without physical inspections.
The sales of investment units have been slow and this is due of course to the reduced income from holiday makers but the continued owners’ costs.
When we see the income climb back to pre-2020 levels, then I expect volume of sales to once again increase. In regards to tourism all the fantastic ingredients are here, waiting for when borders- both domestic and international-reopen. We may see a change in how operators run their businesses in terms of scale but those who can adapt and get through to the 2021 season will be in my view, hugely successful. The destination that is Port Douglas and surrounds has certainly grown in awareness domestically.
With the increase in new owners to the region there will be a demand for other services and businesses in Port Douglas. We have seen a lot of businesses shut during the last six months- some will re-open but others will remain vacant. There will be new opportunities arise and I believe we will see commercial rents become more affordable in the near future before growing again as the economy recovers in the wake of the pandemic.
What stands out for me is that we as a destination and a place to live is that we really need more facilities built, such as a retirement village, better equipped hospital including maternity services, community pool and splash park, public transport improvements in and out of Cairns and Mossman, improved gardens and parks, better maintained roads and landscaping. It is widely regarded that we have the most scenic drive in Australia from the north of Cairns up to Port Douglas – but it is a constant disappointment that the maintenance of the road-side is minimal with the view of the Coral Sea ruined by poorly kept long grass, bushes, weeds and illegal campers. Being mostly within the Douglas Shire, and being the extended entrance to our town it should really set the stage as the first impression and be extremely well maintained.
The last hotel developments built were in 2008 – 12 years ago with the construction of Coconut Grove, Beach Club, Shantara and Sea Temple. To remain a five star destination for visitors, the town needs a mix of tasteful renovation and refurbishment of existing complexes, the construction of new complexes, and the re-construction of properties such as the Marina and Silky Oaks. If we are going to promote these upgrades of properties to existing owners, we need the towns’ facilities and surroundings to be upgraded and with our new Council in place I am hopeful of positive change.
Overall I don’t expect people want to hear that real estate agents are happy, but the reality is that confidence breeds confidence and when property demand increases then it will flow through and benefit everyone who calls the Douglas Shire home – whether a property owner, tenant, employee or employer.
Our properties can be viewed on website www.realestateportdouglas.com❞