Why the rush is on to secure a property in paradise
THE rush to secure a slice of paradise away from coronavirus hot spots has triggered a welcome boost to the Whitsunday property market.
Ray White Whitsunday filled 45 rental properties in June and received more than 500 property inquiries and 188 applications.
Two thirds of the new tenants came from within the Whitsundays while others moved from as far as South Australia and northern New South Wales.
Ray White Whitsunday principal Mark Beale attributed the rush to rent in the Whitsundays to a desire to escape COVID in paradise.
"We haven't rented that amount of properties since May 2017, which was two months after the cyclone," he said.
"Our vacancy rate was less than one per cent pre-COVID, and then it all hit and a lot of island workers left town and the vacancy rate went up to five per cent.
"It's about three and a half (per cent) now, it's probably going to be two and a half per cent at the end of this month.
"There are a lot of people that want to get out of the cities and come up here."
Mr Beale said it was the same story for those looking to sell with interest increasing in larger properties with room to move.
"Acreage land is really popular at the moment. Our number of inquiries from domain.com.au for lifestyle properties, as in acreage, is up 500 per cent compared to pre-COVID.
"I think that will continue, people will want to come up here. We're going to have a lot of these city people coming up and working from Airlie Beach, on the house on the hill in their office.
"We will certainly benefit from that."
Mr Beale said a lot of potential sellers had held off putting their property on the market during the pandemic because of concerns over the financial market.
However, as more people look to the Whitsundays for affordable prices and as interest rates drop, Mr Beale said "now is the time to sell".
"We haven't seen this many people through open homes (in years)," he said.
"Two weekends ago we had over 60 groups of people through our open homes.
"The last time we saw that was pre-GFC.
"I think people see that the market properties here are really good value and interest rates are the lowest they're ever going to get.
"At the moment, our supply and demand equation is really good for people who want to sell."