Monday, September 3, 2012

The view from HTW

The August HTW CairnsWatch report from Rick Carr reveals some mixed data.

Domestic airline terminal continues a consistent upward trend while the international languishes. It will be interesting to see how the imminent commencement of direct flights from China will influence the numbers.

Employment numbers remain basically stalled. The Cairns Post job ads look particularly weak approaching a new low. I'm not sure if there may not be a structural element here with trends to online advertising for employment which has also been an issue over some time for the national ANZ job ads survey. I did send a query with a response that there was still confidence in the series trend. Perhaps the near monopoly regional position of the Post provides some defence against the big online competitors such as Seek?

Rental vacancy rates continue to tighten. The chart  and comments this month on Far Northern Construction over the past decade are also of interest.

The HTW national Month in Review roundup this month includes a feature on affordable residential property under $300,000. The section on Cairns:

To put the Cairns under $300,000 market into context:

• $300,000 is below the current median property price in Cairns of $336,000 for houses, but well above the current median property price of $203,000 for units; 

• Approximately 30% of houses and 85% of units sold in Cairns over the past twelve months have been for less than $300,000; and
• There is plenty of under $300,000 property available – our analysis of Pricefinder indicates 600 houses and1,300 units currently listed for sale at under $300,000.

On the Northern Beaches, $300,000 would secure a 3- bedroom 2- bathroom home constructed in the 1980s or 1990’s, possibly even with a pool. In Gordonvale, for this price, you could buy a modern 4- bedroom 2- bathroom double garage home on a 600 square metre lot between two to five years old. In near city areas, $300,000 will secure an older style 3- bedroom 1- bathroom house, potentially in need of work but equally potentially in a good suburb.

The unit market for permanent occupancy in Cairns starts with converted tourist resort units that sell in Woree for around $40,000 to $50,000. By $300,000 you could buy just about any unit you like, with the main exception being units right on the waterfront. Units purchasable under $300,000 would include a number of ostensibly up-market modern units located in the CBD.
When it comes to affordable property this recent report in the Cairns Post on a rent v buy analysis by suburb was also noted. The report  can be downloaded from RP Data and also includes a spreadsheet so may comment further after playing with that. Similar to the previous post on gross yields a comparison exclusive of such as body corporate fees and rates would seem rather pointless and potentially misleading?


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