IN the past 12 months, Andrew Thornton has only sold three units to someone under the age of 30.
A new lifestyle shift led by Baby Boomers downsizing their big family homes is behind a new demand for apartments in Cairns.
Elite Real Estate Services’ agent Mr Thornton was recently listed as the top unit salesperson in Cairns on realestate.com.au with an average selling time of 42 days.
He said retirees, or older first-time buyers represented the bulk of those looking for an apartment in the city.
“What is driving sales is definitely the downsizers, it is a lifestyle based decision. There are a lot of older buyers coming into the market, too.
Elite Real Estate Services agent Andrew Thornton
“Local investors are coming back too at certain price points and southern investors are also looking around for good deals.
“Locals are keen for anything under $250,000 which is close to the city. The suburb isn’t that important it’s more about what is close by in terms of amenities.”
Mr Thornton (above) said while units did not appeal to every buyer, those purchasing apartments in city fringe apartments were often renting the properties out to students or young people.
“The city is definitely popular with the universities moving campuses to the city creating strong rental demand,” he said.
“Strong rental returns make units a good investment.”
He said prices of apartments in Cairns ranged from $90,500 to $735,000.
As one of the agents charged with selling 16 brand new beach front units at Yorkeys Knob’s Marina Sands (below) development and Nova City’s luxury towers on Spence St.
As an investor and a body corporate member himself, Mr Thornton said there were plenty of things unit sellers could do to improve the prospects of a great sale.
“Listen to the advice the agent gives you, whether that is to do a basic paint inside, replace carpet in the bedrooms, replace fixtures and fittings for lights,” he said.
6/26 Corkill St, Freshwater is currently on the market and offers three garages, perfect for a Baby Boomer to store caravans, boats and cars.
“The other is understanding the body corporate. Most buyers are scared of a body corporate fee increase, but just like what you do with a house, you can always gets quotes for insurance for the complex yourself, you don’t have to reply on a body corporate manager to supply those quotes to you.
“Go to an insurance broker and get quotes to submit to the committee. The other key thing is marketing — tailor it to the buyers who will suit those properties, especially through the newspaper. You can’t filter out suburbs when you are reading a newspaper.”
Mr Thornton said even if an owner was not hoping to sell their property in the short-term, it cost nothing to seek advice from an agent.