The strong Australian dollar isn't deterring some Australian expatriates from snapping up Christmas holiday rentals in coastal regions of NSW, with activity up 15 per cent on last year in some areas, Raine and Horne reported today.
In Sydney’s north, Glenn Lee, Raine & Horne Palm Beach principal, said all the indicators pointed to a solid holiday season for Whale Beach and Palm Beach.
“We’ve already taken an $80,000 booking for the Christmas fortnight, as well as another $40,000 booking for the same period,” Mr Lee said.
“This is pleasing given the strong Australian dollar was assumed to be making an overseas holiday a more popular option for many Australian holiday makers this summer.”
Likewise there was some conjecture the strength of the dollar might make Australia a less attractive travel destination for overseas visitors, yet Mr Lee said the majority of the early bookings were Australian expatriates living in Asia, Europe and North America.
“They want to escape the busy lifestyles in places such as Hong Kong and Singapore, or the cold North American winter, and there is no better place to be than Whale Beach or Palm Beach at Christmas.”
The early start to the Christmas booking season wasn't only confined to Sydney, with Adam Porteous, Raine & Horne Batemans Bay principal, confirming holiday makers were also reserving South Coast getaways.
“Around 40 per cent of our properties are booked for the peak Christmas/New Year fortnight,” Mr Porteous said, up 15 per cent on this time last year.
Mr Porteous attributed the stronger bookings to concerns about international political instability in some parts of the world.
“These issues are playing on the minds of some holiday makers, while many of our summer visitors are from rural communities such as Griffith, Yass and Albury, and overseas travel is not often a high priority at Christmas time.
On the Far North Coast of NSW, Denise Jillett, Raine & Horne Yamba principal, said holiday occupancies were already at 78 per cent for the Christmas/New Year period.
“To be fair, we get a lot of repeat business year in year out,” Ms Jillett said.
“Over 60 per cent of our Christmas visitors are from rural communities in the central west of NSW, New England and south east Queensland.”