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Affordability a key criteria for Cairns property buyers

PRDnationwide research director Jonathan Rivera examines the major trends that have influenced the areas residential property market, identifying the types of house, unit and vacant land stock that has been transacted during January to June 2008.

"Overall, the Cairns market performed well, irrespective of sales being down during the June 2008 half year period, " Rivera says.

"The median house price was recorded at $368,500 and the median unit price was $220,000," he said. trend that has influenced the residential property market in Cairns, indicating that the market is diverse and still evolving,

Over the past year the housing market in Cairns has recorded a growth rate of 6.8 per cent which was calculated from 814 settled transactions for the six months ending June 2008.

The drop in sales numbers is a result of the current economic environment.

"The Cairns housing market is expected to see prices remain steady regardless of a decrease in the volume of sales due to ongoing stable demand being fuelled by strong population growth," Mr Rivera said.

The greatest number of transactions recorded between June 2008 half year sold between $300,000 and $399,999 price bracket.

"The Cairns housing market is still relatively affordable enabling many people the opportunity to still enter the Cairns property market," he said. 

The suburb of Edmonton proved to be the most popular area to buy accounting for 116 of the total 814 transactions during the six months ending June 2008.

"The most expensive property sold during this period was on Gloucester Street, Whitfield, where a large contemporary home with an infinity pool and generous outdoor living spaces with stunning views on a 1,633 sqm lot sold for $1,650,000 during March 2008," Mr Rivera said.

The Cairns unit market has reacted quite similarly to the current economic conditions as the housing market in Cairns. 

The median unit sale price recorded in the six months up to June 2008, was $220,000 – a growth rate of 10.3 per cent per annum.

"The majority of the sales occurred in the $200,000 to $249,999 price bracket equating to 26 per cent of total transactions," he said.

Vacant land market has been revealed to be less active than the housing and unit market.

The median vacant land price is $151,125 – a growth rate of 3.5 per cent.

"The median price was calculated from 182 settled transactions, the lowest volume of sales since June 2003.

"The vacant land market in Cairns was affected by the most over the months leading up to June 2008 to record a 44 per cent drop in sales numbers and nearly a $19,000 price decrease since the six months ending December 2007," he said.

The vast majority of vacant land transactions occurred in Edmonton – known to be the growth centre in Cairns due to its affordable price points.

For the full report, please click here.