Looking for Land?

You won't be the only one...

I touched on it in last week’s column but we’re now seeing it first hand – land sales are going NUTS at the moment as buyers look to take advantage of the double whammy of first home buyer’s grant and Homebuilder while it lasts.

Both in speaking to other agents and in my own recent experience, some Estates have seen more sales in the past 2 weeks than in the previous 3 months COMBINED, which is great for developers that have seen an otherwise lackluster year overall but an upcoming concern for land buyers moving forward. I had one block of land go live online on Wednesday, and go under contract by 5pm Friday after 5 enquiries and 3 offers.

When it comes to new development, while projects have continued across Cairns, they remain WELL below the levels seen on the way to our previous peaks, with units still virtually non-existent and land steady but relatively low volume. This has led to developers staging new land releases over time, to meet predictable demand rather than be left holding an oversupply.

Throw in a gamechanger like Homebuilder, on top of the first home owner’s grant, First Home Buyer Deposit Guarantee scheme and record low interest rates and the existing supply is going to be stretched to its limits.

Now, that supply CAN and WILL be topped up, but turning dirt into land doesn’t happen overnight, with council approvals, civil construction, roads, electricity, sewer and water connections all taking time.

What does this mean for prospective buyers now? Well, more than ever, time is of the essence, and with a deadline of 31 December for signing your build contract, that time will move quickly. While signing a contract for a titled allotment today will put it in your hands in 30 days or so, if you are waiting on title and registration, it could mean months til settlement, making things that much tighter. If you ARE waiting on title, make sure you have a clearly defined timeframe in place.

For owners of land across the Cairns market, these Grants will drive stronger competition and provide the opportunity to achieve great results, even in a year like 2020. If you are looking to sell, make sure your agent is across these grants and has a strategy in place to reach the right kind of buyer. Even if your block doesn’t fit the criteria for government incentives, tight supply should still offer some good news for you.