February 10, 2017
Airlie Beach property

Airlie Beach property back in overdrive on strong economy

8 FEBRUARY 2017: AIRLIE Beach property is back in overdrive on the back of a growing regional economy, driven by booming tourism numbers and a number of key projects. The Whitsundays is once again poised to be a lucrative opportunity for property investors. PRDnationwide Whitsunday Principal, Christie Leet, said all the key drivers of a rising market for Airlie Beach property were now in place.
“The Australian dollar has stabilised at a level that entices overseas visitors and we have domestic visitors taking advantage of low airfares and increased capacity,” he said. “Properties are selling quickly again – at a pace we haven’t seen for nine years – and the excess housing and rental stock has all but vanished. With major construction and refurbishment projects under way or about to begin, there will be even greater demand for housing as construction workers move into the region. There is very limited land available in the Whitsundays much of the area is taken up by Conway National Park and the last beachfront blocks that can be developed on the Whitsunday Coast are now under construction at Funnel Bay.”
Tiger Airways is adding 110,000 extra seats into the Whitsundays from March and Jetstar has announced they will add another 65,000 seats into the Whitsundays from April. The Whitsunday Coast Airport has an expansion project on the table with a $59million masterplan, including plans for the introduction of international flights. Redevelopments at Daydream Island Resort ($30 million) and South Molle Island ($200-$300 million), as well as a $600 million redevelopment at Lindeman Island Resort, are creating substantial employment on the Whitsunday Coast.
Mr Leet said the start of construction at the Adani Carmichael Coal Project, a $16 billion investment in the Central and North Queensland economies, and the reopening of the Collinsville mine, which is in the Whitsunday Shire, would provide even greater demand on housing in the Whitsundays.
“The workforce will be fly-in-fly-out and we have seen in the past that miners like to set up a home base where the family can enjoy the best North Queensland has to offer,” he said. “Thousands of miners and their families will also be looking for somewhere to relax and enjoy their time off without having to travel too far. The lifestyle benefits of the Whitsundays, represented by the Great Barrier Reef, the islands, beautiful beaches (including one of the world’s best), and natural environment, are well documented and have helped the region become the number one Great Barrier Reef destination.”
But it is the underlying strength of tourism and the local economy, combined with the timing of the market, that is behind the sudden move in the property market.
“The all-important construction industry is ramping up with key projects already under construction or about to start but the low vacancy rates are creating the demand needed for more accommodation projects to come online,” Mr Leet said. “Activity in the property market picked up to a good pace in the second half of 2016, pushing the Whitsundays into a balanced market and ready for another major upswing (after nine years of weak prices). With all the key factors lining up, that upswing will happen quite quickly.”
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