Where you can buy a holiday home for almost the same price as five years ago

“Our market had been very stable or flat for the last 10 years,” he said. “We’re at the beginning of what could be a four or five years upward trajectory.”

A buyer with a $ 500,000 budget could easily find a beachfront apartment in Palm Cove, while houses within a kilometre of a beach are available for well under $ 1 million and waterfront properties range from $ 1.5 million to $ 3.5 million, he said.

In nearby Port Douglas, the median unit price is $ 260,000, up 10.6 per cent from five years earlier – more modest than the 42.9 per cent growth in house prices there over the same time frame.

Raine & Horne director David Cotton has seen strong demand for holiday homes from buyers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and even the Gold Coast since the pandemic began.

“We’re coming to a point where we’re running out of stock,” he said.

“It’s just a good area to live in… compared to your Byrons and your Noosas, it’s probably a lot more relaxed,” he added, noting the beaches, rainforest, Great Barrier Reef and restaurants on offer.

Basic one-bedroom apartments start from about $ 230,000, two-bedrooms from about $ 280,000, while luxury apartments with a view could fetch $ 1.5 million, he said.

A standard four-bedroom house in the suburbs of Port Douglas would cost about $ 600,000 to $ 800,000, while prestige homes on the hillside start from $ 5 million.

Further south in the Whitsundays, Airlie Beach apartments have a median price of $ 335,000, up just 7.2 per cent in five years.

Ray White Whitsunday principal Mark Beale said the town has changed since the international border closed two years ago, with fewer backpackers and more families visiting.

“It’s a different feeling – more sophisticated, but not snobby,” he said.

He recommended holiday home buyers who plan to let out their property while they are not using it to choose something with an ocean view and a pool, to maximise their potential short-term tenant interest.

He has seen strong price growth on some recent sales, but said the market is recovering from its downturn after the GFC.


“There’s been some very good price growth but those figures are still less than what they were 10, 15 years ago,” he said. “All of those apartments were that price, and now they’re back.”

With the WA border set to open this week, taking a holiday outside Perth could be a possibility.

Down the coast from the WA capital, houses in West Busselton are 2.2 per cent higher than five years ago, at a median $ 470,000, although there has been some fluctuation, with 11.1 per cent growth over the past year. Nearby, Broadwater house prices are 10.2 per cent higher than five years ago, at a median $ 515,000.

Busselton First National Real Estate principal Anthony Copeland said houses are now selling within days of being listed to buyers from Perth and the eastern states.

“Prices have escalated considerably in the last 18 months and we’ve got a very low supply of stock,” he said.

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