The 2015 Property Market Movement Report from the Valuer-General shows residential land values in Cairns have increased by an average 12.9%, the Cassowary Coast sees values slip by 3.9% while Townsville remained static. The land values created by the Report are used by Councils in the determination of rates payable.
In Cairns the Report notes that.. “Property prices in central Cairns have increased due to high levels of demand. The more prestigious locations of upper Edge Hill, Whitfield and Kanimbla Heights are once again the most attractive localities, with sales evidence showing moderate valuation increases depending on location and views. Building construction approvals have increased strongly. The scarcity of development land within the central Cairns area has resulted in vacant parcels generally emanating from infill development.
Residential lands in the northern beaches and Redlynch Valley have all experienced an increase in land values.”
For the Cassowary Coast the story is very different. The Report comments..”the residential market in the Cassowary Coast has been variable. The impacts of the agricultural sector, a slow tourism market and the lingering effects of Cyclone Yasi have caused values to stabilise or soften. Residential values have generally held steady in the town of Innisfail, with the surrounding smaller coastal and hinterland communities, such as Wangan and South Johnstone, softening in value.
High-value beachfront and elevated coastal properties in the Island Coast localities of Bingil Bay, Mission Beach, Wongaling Beach and South Mission Beach have experienced a further softening of values, however residential lands outside of these areas have stabilised in value.
The southern Cassowary Coast towns of Tully, Cardwell, and components of Port Hinchinbrook have reduced in value.”
Townsville, according to the Report has “been impacted by loss of job security, high unemployment, high rental vacancies, and a downturn in the mining sector, all of which have created a relatively flat market. Townsville’s residential market has been subdued. The western suburbs, including Kirwan, have experienced little change in value. That trend continues in the northern suburbs in localities such as Derragun through to Balgal Beach. Inner city suburbs have maintained their current value; however reductions have been undertaken on difficult sites with building constraints and increases have occurred for lands with improved infrastructure. Justified market corrections of between 5 and 15% have occurred across the board to better improve valuation relativity from suburb to suburb.”
Average declines (or increases) in land values will not, off course, necessarily impact on the level of rates payable since Councils will simply adjust up (or down) the cents in the dollar rate to maintain budgeted General Rate income. However, if individual land valuations are significantly different to the average change in a particular Council then owners can expect to see their relative rate burden either go up (where their land has appreciated more than average, or gone down less than average) or go down (where their land has depreciated more than the average decline, or appreciated less than the average rise). In either case it is highly unlikely that anyone will see their General Rates actually fall!
UPDATE. More detail and analysis of the results for the Cairns area from Loose Change here.