New land valuations are released next week, May 3, for all Local Guvmint areas in Queensland. The Valuer-General has released a snapshot of the 2011 valuation and the specific commentary on Cairns is as follows:
"An overall increase of 2.3 per cent in residential land in the Cairn regional local government area has been recorded since the last revaluation of this region in 2008. The economy is gradually improving, with confidence returning to the tourism industry and a large reduction in unemployment. However, it is taking a long time for these improvements to filter through the property market in general.
The Cairns residential property market throughout 2010 has remained at the bottom of the property market cycle, experiencing slow demand but remaining steady.
The Port Douglas market has experienced a downturn in the order of 30 per cent due in part to an oversupply of accommodation and the downturn in the tourism sector."
Of course, what matters for Council rates is differential valuation movements, so that decline in PD could potentially translate into rate cuts even though rates generally are set to rise by at least 5%. There may be a silver lining from the amalgamation.
However, if someone pays less, someone else must pay more which is where Council rates policy with respect to different categories could become politically interesting. This years valuations were delayed to assess the impacts of floods but it is understood Councils have already been supplied with preliminary data to allow rates modelling for the upcoming budget.