Blogs

Cape York Wide open spaces and fresh country air.

In today’s times as the world gets smaller, faster, and overcrowded, many often wonder what it would be like to live in paradise away from all the stress. In seeking this outcome in 1988 a family-owned nature retreat was established at the northern end of what was known then as the Great Daintree Rainforest. In those days when Cairns was still small, an adventure further north came with its hardships, namely the tyranny of distance. Over the past 30 years, as the roads improved and services like telephone and electricity became available, the remoteness of such became less and less. Conventional access is now easy and available to all.

Mulligan Highway to Cooktown

Mungumby Lodge established in 1988 has developed over this time an enviable reputation as being one of North Queensland’s more unique lodge experiences. The Wildlife, the ambiance, and the setting became the highlights and supported business growth. There are many lodges through-out Australia yet only a few manage to develop, maintain and grow a reputation that lasts for years into the future. Sir David Attenborough sought out Mungumby Lodge and used the property in 2010 for his well-known documentary “First Life”.  Today despite COVID-19 impacts the lodge remains well-positioned within many tour operator catalogues, distribution systems, on the internet, and online booking engines. There is still loads of room to grow and lots of potential nationally and internationally. The vendors post-COVID made major changes to operations and rooms to better accommodate domestic travellers in the temporary absence of international clients. In 2021 tour operator bookings are again growing and referrals remain high. In 2021 as more roads are further improved and tarseal becomes the new norm, a new client is able to easily access Mungumby Lodge as well as get off the beaten track. Not too long ago the journey was reserved for the adventurous few driving 4×4’s, today clients arrive in sports cars, motorbikes, and conventional vehicles.

Cooktown just north of Mungumby Lodge is in positive mode and focused on growth for the future. For the past 20 years, the owners of the lodge have and continue to play an active role in tourism business development for the region. There are a number of projects forecast and more on the drawing board. The Cooktown waterfront is undergoing a major upgrade and beautification program, private school facilities are now available. A $200million wind farm power plant is soon underway at Lakeland (35 minutes from Mungumby Lodge) in 2021 along with proposed new irrigation dams giving water security to support the new agriculture expansion. Queensland Health will be spending $65 million redeveloping the hospital as the medical hub for Cape York to relieve the conjected Cairns Based Hospital. There are new Maternity and birthing services at Cooktown Hospital in place along with minor surgery, dialysis, and other treatments. Galalar Silica Sand Project north of Cooktown. Due to its location, it is proposed that they operate out of Cooktown, and will employ FIFO along with local workers who will be based on-site transiting from the Cooktown region. The COOK Shire is developing at a sustainable pace and still affords those within the very paradise they came to seek out.

In the past 33 years, Mungumby Lodge has only had two owners. Both have maintained these quality structures, and developed the lodge business, reputation, and market position it enjoys today. The property offers good revenues, freehold land, an abundance of fresh gravity feed water a great lifestyle, and a work pace set by you. 95% of the lodge guests are active adventurous types from a broad range of demographics. Due to this, the compatibility of guest and staff is amazing, the team have loads of fun and are reminded every day by the guests that we have something very special.

For the past 15 years the accommodation business has grown each year. This growth has accelerated over the past 5 years due to access, reputation and infrastructure until COVID-19. Despite the GFC and COVID-19 the company has managed to reboot whilst maintaining its market position and initiate the next phase of Mungumby Lodge. Room for expansion has been created, additionally the grounds, infrastructure and facilities are constantly being improved. This business is best suited to an owner-operator or a company seeking to expand into Cape York an area that is the focus of many wishing to escape the confines of the suburbs and regular lock downs post COVID-19.

The current owners of Mungumby Lodge seek expressions of interest in the lodge property, business, and chattels. Expressions of interest for over $1.250,000.00 are sought and ongoing marketing, distribution, and logistical support is available as part of the package. The owners of the company have diversified their interests and without urgency are preparing to implement their next move. Enthusiasm and desire of this family is to see the lodge expand and grow and the business remain strong. Therefore incoming owners will be supported to ensure the future of the business and property remains secure. Live the dream and own this unique business in the center of paradise, surrounded by other top experience destinations.

Mungumby Lodge from above

When to call a peak in housing values

Australian housing values grew 22.1% last year and the market is showing signs this extraordinary rate of growth – not seen since the 1980s – is slowing across most of the capital cities.

Yet as the rate of dwelling value appreciation slows, capital city and broad ‘rest of state’ markets are yet to peak, causing plenty of speculation about whether this will occur in 2022 and mark the start of a downturn. 

CoreLogic’s Research Director Tim Lawless explains when a market has peaked, the biggest factors impacting Australia’s housing in 2022 and the trends property watchers should be keeping an eye on this year.
 
When to call a peak in housing values

“To categorise a market peak across a region, we would generally be looking for a consistent trend in negative monthly movements,” Mr Lawless says.

“To date, the quarterly trend remains positive across the major regions, with the only exception being Darwin houses, which is the only capital city housing sector to record a negative quarterly change. 

“The Darwin reading can be more volatile than other cities due to the small size of the market, so it may be too early to call a peak in this market even though the quarterly growth rate has turned negative.”
  
Peak vs peak rate of growth

“Although we can’t see any evidence that specific housing markets have peaked, it is clear that most markets have moved through a peak rate of growth,” Mr Lawless says.

“What I mean by that is the point at which markets achieved their biggest monthly growth rate. We saw most of the capitals moved through a peak rate of growth around March last year.”

•    Sydney’s monthly growth rate peaked at 3.7% in March and has since reduced to 0.3%
•    Melbourne’s monthly growth rate peaked at 2.4% in March, reducing to -0.1% in December (the first monthly decline since Oct 2020)
•    Perth’s monthly growth rate peaked at 2.7% in February.  After recording only a single month of decline (-0.1% in Oct 2021) the monthly rate of growth has reaccelerated to reach 0.4% in December
•    Hobart’s monthly growth rate peaked at 3.3% in March and dropped to 1.0% in December
•    Darwin moved through a peak rate of monthly growth in April at 2.7% (0.6% in December)
•    Canberra moved through a monthly peak in March at 2.8% (0.9% in December)

Market exceptions and future expectations

“The only broad regions avoiding a slowdown in the pace of growth in housing values are Brisbane, Adelaide and regional Queensland,” Mr Lawless says.

“These markets are benefitting from a healthier level of affordability compared with the largest capitals along with a positive demographic trend and consistently low advertised stock levels.” 

“We could see our two biggest capital city markets Sydney and Melbourne hit their peak later this year although the timing is highly uncertain and depends on a broad range of influences.”

Three main factors that determine when and if a market peak will occur

“There are a lot of moving parts that will affect the trajectory of housing outcomes,” Mr Lawless says.  

The three biggest factors to impact market movements are: 
•    Policy-related factors such as interest rates and credit availability 
•    Market factors like the trend in advertised stock levels and housing affordability 
•    Economic factors such as labour market conditions and wages growth

“Arguably, the surge in COVID cases associated with the Omicron variant could push some of these policy tightening decisions back, with APRA or the RBA unlikely to tighten their policy settings with so much uncertainty associated with the latest case numbers,” Mr Lawless says.

“There is also some downside risk from a delayed economic recovery associated with less spending activity and heighted uncertainty, although a slower than forecast economic recovery implies rates would stay lower for longer.” 

Key signals that a market is approaching its peak

“Normally, housing growth trends will gradually slow before moving into a correction phase, which is what we are seeing at the moment. However, this isn’t always the case. During periods of shock such as the GFC or early in the pandemic, housing trends turned quite sharply into negative territory,” Mr Lawless says.

Other signs to watch for include:
•    rising advertised stock levels
•    affordability constraints
•    weakening auction clearance rates
•    softening vendor metrics such as longer days on market and larger levels of discounting

“It’s fair to say we are currently seeing a softening in all of these metrics, albeit from an historically high base,” Mr Lawless says.

“We also consider macro factors, which could have an impact on housing demand such as the potential for higher interest rates or tighter credit policies. Both of these factors have a high level of uncertainty at the moment, especially considering the latest wave of COVID cases associated with Omicron which could weigh down economic activity.”

Jan13_2022_PropertyPulse_1.JPG

What to expect following a market peak

“Once a market peaks, the typical trend is that values will experience a period of decline,” Mr Lawless says.

“The duration and severity of the decline is dependent on a broad range of both macro and micro factors.”
 
Since the late 1980s, Australia has experienced national downturns that have ranged in severity from a 1.0% peak to trough decline in 2015-16, a temporary correction following the first round of credit tightening via APRA’s 10% speed limit on investment lending, to the most recent 8.4% decline experienced during the 2017-19 downturn.

At a capital city level, the most severe downturns have followed periods of exuberance such as the mining infrastructure boom in Perth and Darwin where housing values in Perth fell by 20.0% over 64 months (moving through a peak in June 2014 and finding a floor in October 2019). 

In Darwin, dwelling values fell 32.7% over 69 months (May 2014 to February 2020), although both downturns were preceded by a spectacular upswing in values. 

Jan13_2022_PropertyPulse.JPG

The above article is 100% from CoreLogic the national real estate data organisation RP Data.

https://www.corelogic.com.au/news/peak-peaking-peaked-how-read-australias-housing-market?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=20220117_propertypulse

Housing values end the year 22.1% higher with the pace of gains continuing to soften as multi-speed conditions emerge – Corelogic

Australian housing values were 1.0% higher in December, slowing from a 1.3% rise in November, continuing the softening trend in the monthly growth rate that has been evident since the national index moved through a cyclical high of 2.8% growth in March 2021.

As dwelling value appreciation slows, conditions are becoming more diverse amongst the capital cities and regional areas of Australia.  Across the capitals, the monthly change ranged from a 0.1% fall in Melbourne housing values (the first month-on-month fall in Melbourne housing values since October 2020), through to a 2.9% surge in Brisbane dwelling values. 

Brisbane and Adelaide, along with regional Queensland, are the only broad regions where there is no evidence of value growth slowing just yet, with the monthly rate of growth reaching a new cyclical high in December.

CoreLogic’s Research Director Tim Lawless said: “These regions show less of an affordability challenge relative to the larger capitals, as well as better support for housing demand with Queensland, in particular, showing strong interstate migration. Additionally, we haven’t seen the same level of supply response seen in other regions, with the trend in advertised supply remaining well below average in these markets.”

On the other end of the spectrum, momentum has slowed quite sharply in Melbourne and Sydney dwelling markets, with both cities recording the softest monthly reading since October 2020.  

“A surge in freshly advertised listings through December has been a key factor in taking some heat out of the Melbourne and Sydney housing markets, along with some demand headwinds caused by significant affordability constraints and negative interstate migration,” Mr Lawless said.

The full article from Tim Lawless at Corelogic RP Data can be read here!

Australian housing values

Where does your investment sit in the big picture?

Australian housing values increased a further 1.6% in July, according to CoreLogic’s national home value index. The latest rise takes housing values 14.1% higher over the first seven months of the year and 16.1% higher over the past twelve months. Is the growth cycle tapering as house buying becomes less affordable?

Read the full article HERE

Download the Corelogic Hedonic Home Value Index HERE

Out now! Winter Newletter 2021

Our winter newsletter offers some interesting property offers, and insights to what happening around Cooktown. The property market is performing strongly over the past 6 months due to additional employment opportunities matched with being one of the best regions in Australia to live. This is the Great Barrier Reef & Rainforest Coast!

Cooktown property for sale

Let your home tell a story!

Your home needs to tell a story to potential buyers and you can stage it without all the big expenses or pay a staging expert to do this for you. Many with some intuition can do it themselves. A home’s value starts on the inside then works outwards. In essence, a good clean-up of the grounds makes for a very inviting welcome.

To create an uninterrupted flow through your home and garden with spaces to pause is important. Give buyers a potential experience, and to do this you need to think about it. Set up your staging so people are able to stop taking in before moving on to the next space, all in continuity. Spaces need to complement each other, avoiding glaring clashes of taste or flow.

It is important the buyer gets a feel for your property and can see themselves in each space to imagine what their daily routine takes them to and how would they feel doing this in that space. An arrangement of striking flowers gives time for reflection, a stop, and is likely to enhance the area it is surrounded by. Making your home liveable and inviting for inspection are one of the most powerful marketing tools one can use. Especially when working with your agent, to present the property to the best of its ability. It is quite possibly your largest asset, style it well!

Styling your home is the key to place a home on its best foot. For many to achieve this without the burden of cost is to apply time, pack up and de-clutter your place. Clear off the kitchen benches cupboard items and generally open the place up.  Still continue to live there in preparation for your next journey, yet through the declutter, allow buyers to see their own belongings in each space. This also allows for a better building inspection for potential buyers or master builders inspecting any building prior to finalising a transaction.

Southern Investors eye off Cooktown

Interesting to see southern investors eyeing off Queensland’s northern frontier township Cooktown. Commercial and residential inquiries are strong and contracts are processing. If your heading north, make sure pack your wallet!

Set to be the location of a greatly enhanced Queensland Health facility, the Cooktown Hospital is bringing in new employees and creating jobs for locals part of a long term strategy for the facility and region. The budget for this has been recently released by Queensland Health. This will places a great deal of pressure on the rental sector, yet creating more opportunity for investment in the residential sector. Meanwhile property investment group BInvested are under contract with the Cooktown Motel /Pam’s Place – Backpackers establishment. Others include large Queensland companies looking around and doing due diligence here along with small southern investors like TTV Australia looking for a long term strategy for investment in the region. Nearby Lakeland, currently the economic driver of the Cook Shire, is forging ahead as the regions food bowl and major employer. High volume producers Red Valley, Swiss Farms, MacKay’s Bananas and Collins Family employ large workforce’s with excellent production of bananas, avocado, papaya, passion fruit, organic beef, pork, and coffee to name a few. This is further stimulating the desirability to live on Cape York with year-round work and opportunity.

Snap lock downs can miserably disturb the most well-prepared travel arrangements. Travelers coming unstuck due to snap lock downs, boarder closures and quarantine restrictions is putting some people off travel to anywhere. All that said Queensland’s Cape York is bracing for a bumper winter tourist season possibly starting as early as April 2021. February & March are the wettest months of any year and punters are already out and about. With the wet now well advanced, Cape York is enjoying its great soak before arrival of the stunning winter. The winter will bring many road travellers wishing to escape, resulting in a long-awaited boast to the tourism sector.

Further stimulating regional visitation will be the Rising Tide festival held in Cooktown combined with the hugely popular Laura Dance festival held at Laura, the Laura rodeo/races/camp muster, and music festivals BMUP & Wallaby Creek Festival in Rossville all events retelling a combined Australian story from a Cape York perspective.

If you are looking to escape the pandemic madness, move your business and life to the Cooktown region, you won’t regret!

The Great Escape

1495 Mt Amos Road, Cooktown, Qld 4895

Ever imagined escape yet still be able to access those items we need for living easily. Years gone by, conducting such an adventure escape meant dealing with the tyranny of distance. Lack of access to basics, let alone today’s modern equipment. Over the past 15 years all that ended!

1495 Mt Amos Road, Cooktown, Qld 4895

With great internet access to the rest of the world, your escape is now possible whilst ensuring you don’t lose touch with loved ones and the outside world. You no longer need to be Tarzan and Jane swinging from the vines. You may if you wish, but the reality is, with some real-life skills one can turn this patch of paradise into an amazing haven in the wilderness. Most things can be purchased online and delivered by post. You can work online at your favourite job, be creative, write a book or work the markets from a laptop then escape out the door to create your treehouse, go fishing or work your garden.

What are you waiting for? give Hamish a call 0407 654 066

2020 Property Round-Up

Queensland's Great Barrier Reef Coast

With 2020 almost behind us we see many talking up 2021 already. Reality is, this coming year is going to remain difficult, financially and emotionally for many organisations across the globe. The property market took a huge hit as a result of this recent health scare, but has not yet felt the full effect of the pandemic driven recession yet. We can expect to start feeling it nationally in 2021. At Real Estate Downunder we don’t take to predicting the weather or the future, we like work it as it comes. However, we do like to ensure we make the best of any situation. So with foresight, and forward-thinking we intend to make the most of what is ahead. Nothing is impossible!

Some of the more permanent changes from COVID-19 will be an acceleration of working from home, remote working and remote learning. House prices are set to bottom out by June 2021, helped by improving affordability, but banks predict a national recovery is likely to be held back by high unemployment that is expected to remain above 7 per cent until 2022. While mortgage deferrals allowed by lenders will help stem large-scale forced sales, weaker household income, lower population growth and a “collapse” in the rental market would depress the market over the coming years. This last point is interesting as CoreLogic is indicating prior to Christmas a strong national demand in the rental sector. Mid-2020 we were told the national property market was going into decline with prices sliding up to a possible 20%. This did not happen with most capital cites starting to show signs of recovery. Adelaide & Canberra has remained strong with Brisbane remaining steady with predictions of Brisbane property prices set to rise significantly.

2021 Early Indicators

  • Consumer confidence has been consistently improving as has business confidence
  • More buyers and sellers are in the market and national transaction numbers have increased consistently.
  • Despite what we hear and see the banks are actually keen to write new business as long as the capital/lending ratios are right.
  • Bank loan deferrals have been consistently falling – there’s little likelihood of an avalanche of forced mortgagee sales as earlier predicted.
  • Historically low-interest rates and the “guarantee” of rates remaining low for at least 3 years, will give home buyers and commercial investors’ confidence
  • Strong jobs creation through government stimulus, rising consumer confidence and improving business confidence (leading to spending and employment) will underpin the housing markets.
  • It would appear that more vendors may be willing to test the market in 2021, particularly given how many buyers are currently searching ready to purchase in 2021!

Stay healthy, stay safe and most of all stay focused!

Cooktown Waterfront unique value opportunity!

Vendor meets the market!

Picture Cooktown waterfront with 180 views of the Endeavour River, Cooktown inlet, and the Coral Sea, a picture that is ever-changing. Upstairs spacious corporate office with no imposing infrastructure, enabling the lessee to deck out as they wish, suitable for many business scenarios. Downstairs a Cafe overlooking the harbour and a laundromat that has been an integral part of Cooktown’s waterfront since the creation of the building in 2000.

This is an ideal opportunity for a passive investor to generate better returns than interest on savings held at any bank or volatile share market. Absolute waterfront location overlooking the mouth of the Endeavour River and the Coral Sea. Cavity brick building, on Cook Shire council waterfront leasehold land.

The owners of this property have decided to meet the market in interesting times and have dropped the price of this complex by $70,000. Reason? They are aging and wish to reduce their portfolio of properties.

Do you think this great value opportunity is for you?

Let’s connect to find out!

Call Hamish +61 (0)407 654 066 | yours@realestatedownunder.com