Brisbane’s property cycle traditionally follows that of Sydney and Melbourne, and now that Australia’s “celeb” cities are beginning to cool Brisbane is getting a bit more of the headline space. But three experts are saying that it might be wise not to limit yourself to the bog-standard Brisbane and surrounding market and look even further north, all the way to Cairns.
Propertyology market analyst, Simon Pressley, says the fundamentals of Cairns today are as good as any.
“Demand is certainly strong in the area,” Mr Pressley told Smart Property Investment.
“Cairns sees a lot of interest from Asian businesses, especially in the agricultural sector, as it is located close to Asia. Australia’s agricultural products are, worldwide, they say among the best, and we hear that term, ‘Australia is Asia’s food bowl’.
“It doesn’t mean investors should be looking to buy farms, that’s a different thing altogether to investing in property, but it’s just thinking which parts of Australia have what agricultural products and where are jobs created with that.”
Mr Pressley said tourism is a big driver in Cairns.
“Cairns Airport is the fifth largest Australia-wide, which can see someone travelling from Asia reach Cairns in five hours. In addition, Cairns is situated close to the Great Barrier Reef as well as rainforests.”
Mr Pressley also said Cairns’ projects and infrastructure is on the move.
“With a $120 million expansion to its convention center, as well as access to the Federal Government Department Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund, which gives Cairns access to a pool of $5 billion in government funding.
“Education is also seeing expansion with a second university for the area opened just last year.”
Founder and managing director of Probity Investments, Jeremy Foster, said smart property investors should look to capitalise on the risingCoast market because of its population and economic growth.
He pointed to comments made by demographer Bernard Salt, who said “long-gone” is the sense of the Sunshine Coast as an enclave of older retired Australians and New Zealanders.
“The Sunshine Coast has grown from an economic base of tourism and construction to ... entrepreneurial, small-to-medium enterprises in health, technology, professional services, building and retail sectors to attract a steady flow of young people into the region,” said Mr Foster.
He added that an estimated 13,200 jobs have been created on the Sunshine Coast in the last year, and that the region is now experiencing low unemployment rates and high levels of business confidence.
Mr Foster also said that in the last three years more than $10 billion has been invested in new infrastructure and both commercial and residential developments.
“The $5.3 billion Oceanside Health Hub and the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital are delivering huge rental demand from over 6,000 hospital staff.
“Plus, the new $430 million Maroochydore CBD is expected to create more than 15,000 permanent jobs on completion and inject an estimated $4.4 million into the region’s economy.”
Closer to the CBD
Right Property Group director, Victor Kumar, said the area in and around 60 minutes north of the Brisbane CBD is currently “primed” for growth.
He said there are three main infrastructure drivers influencing the region.
The first is the university in Petrie.
“This is the old paper mill site. The government has taken over a large tract of land, and they are building the largest university in Queensland there.
"And linked to that which is about 30 minutes away is theBase Hospital, which they are turning into a teaching hospital.”
Mr Kumar says the third is a further 400 acres of land near to the Petrie university that the government has declared as a priority development area.
“It’s going to have the same impact as Badgerys Creek. They’ve got the town center in the middle and houses all around it, it was the first of its kind. That is what they are trying to do there.”