Property managers handling some of Cairns’ largest rent rolls are advertising record low vacancy rates (sub 0.5%!!), properties in many areas are selling faster and in some cases for more money than we would have anticipated pre-COVID and at this rate we are looking down the barrel of a severe shortage of titled residential land before Christmas – what a year!
That’s the current state of affairs, but what happens next? In counterpoint to the predictions of doom and gloom, why don’t we look at what might happen if the newspapers are right and we DO see a wave of southern buyers (and renters) escaping Melbourne and Sydney for brighter (and COVID-free) climes.
Now, we don’t want TOO many of them, so let’s keep the numbers reasonable. There are give or take 10 million people between those two capitals - 1% would be 100,000 (still too many), so let’s look at just 1% of THAT – so 1,000 people flying the coop to FNQ (a 0.01% exodus).
WELL, if you wanted an indication of what a tight market is, then this is a pretty good example. According to realestate.com.au there are just 471 properties available for rent in the Cairns market today. Now that’s not just the “good” rentals, that’s anything with 4 walls and a roof, Palm Cove to Gordonvale, and as far west as Kuranda. Put 1000 new people in town and that supply dries up VERY quickly.
And what if they buy? Again, the current property market is tighter than we would normally expect across a lot of categories and I am seeing buyers miss out almost as frequently as I see them succeed. While the “cashed up southern buyer” has been a stereotype that many a seller looks for, they haven’t been thick on the ground for some time (if ever). In a new world though, with their multimillion dollar home sold, new post-COVID priorities and visions of the beach? Again we start to see a wave of change happen very fast, with demand exceeding supply and prices soaring apace.
Unrealistic? Maybe (probably). But sometimes its worth considering things from a new perspective, and the big impact of a small change.
Well, firstly whoever is in charge of the Crystal Ball department has either done fantastically in tech stocks and is whiling their time away on a tropical beach somewhere, or they need to have a long hard think about their career choice. Beyond that though, let’s look at what for now remains a hypothetical case but one which is being bandied around as a possibility