Aussies snub airfare war and stronger dollar to spend Christmas at home

Media release

Monday, 28 November 2011

Aussies snub airfare war and stronger dollar to spend Christmas at home

  • Up to 100% occupancies for many east coast summer holiday destinations
  • 20% increase in revenues for holiday home owners over the last six months

Despite the strength of the Australian dollar and the proliferation of cheap overseas airfares, many of Australia’s favourite summer holiday hot spots are reporting up to 100% occupancy rates for the Christmas 2011 holidays, according to leading real estate group Raine & Horne.

“It’s pleasing to see that more Australians are ignoring cheaper airfares and a strong Aussie dollar for the tradition and relative safety of a summer holiday in Australia,” said Angus Raine, CEO, Raine & Horne.

“It’s also good for the Australian economy to see more of our travel dollars staying at home to support the Australian economy.”

In Yamba, on the NSW north coast, the height of the summer holiday rush is expected in the first week of 2012, says Denise Jillett, Principal of Raine & Horne Yamba.

“We have 100% occupancy on our holiday homes between New Year’s Eve and the end of the first week in January,” said Ms Jillett, who added that there were still some vacancies between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

“These vacancies came about as a result of cancellations, so holiday makers considering Yamba need to be quick.

“Modern two bedroom apartments close to the beach are available from $1600 for the week plus booking fee,” added Ms Jillett

The holiday market on NSW’s Central Coast is also booming with increasingly more Sydney-siders choosing the region for weekend getaways and longer vacations, according to Brett Hunter, Principal of Raine & Horne Terrigal-Avoca Beach.

“We have secured a 20% increase in revenue for our owners over the last six months, and this proves the strength of the Central Coast holiday market,” said Mr Hunter.

Indeed, Mr Hunter says Raine & Horne Terrigal-Avoca Beach has achieved this result by altering its approach to holiday lettings with a busy Christmas period looming.

“The Central Coast usually has a bumper crop of holidaymakers at Christmas time, with 100% occupancy of holiday properties during the two-week Christmas / New Year period.

“Knowing we can’t improve on a 100% result, instead we have focused on helping people extend their vacations before and after the Christmas period, as well as assisting them with shorter stays of perhaps three or four days on multiple occasions,” said Mr Hunter.

Mr Hunter says two bedroom holiday units in Terrigal, in walking distance to the beach, rent for $1,000 a week over the holiday period, while at the other end of the market, four and five bedroom homes with pools and landscaped gardens can rent for up to $15,000 a week.

In Sydney’s Palm Beach, this summer is shaping up as the busiest holiday period in five years, according to Rebecca Lee, General Manager of Raine & Horne Palm Beach.

“At present, we have 80% occupancy for our holiday homes in Palm Beach, with 90% of these properties renting to ex-pat clients based in Hong Kong, Singapore, the US and Europe,” said Ms Lee.

Comfortable beach houses in Palm Beach start at $7000 a week, while high-flyers seeking a luxury escape can pay up to $40,000 a week for premier properties across from the beach, some of which include personal staff.

In Queensland, the Gold Coast holiday market is picking up again after a tough year, says Clark Brackenridge, Principal of Raine & Horne Surfers Paradise.

“Our property markets are showing signs of turning the corner, and as it stands, our holiday bookings for the Christmas period are reasonably strong, and are certainly well up on this time last year,” said Mr Brackenridge.

“In addition, buyers are beginning to recognise that property prices on the Gold Coast represent good buying, with good yields available to investors.”

Mr Brackenridge says two bedroom, two bathroom apartments overlooking the beach can be purchased for $400,000, and rent for $250 a night as a holiday rental, or for between $500 and $550 a week to long-term tenants.

In Far North Queensland, Port Douglas is also maintaining a steady stream of holiday bookings, says David Cotton, Principal of Raine & Horne Port Douglas / Mossman.

“To date, holiday bookings in the region have been on a par with 2010, if not higher, and we currently have between 60% and 70% occupancy for Christmas,” said Mr Cotton.

Raine & Horne is an iconic Australian property firm, with more than 360 offices worldwide. Also an established Superbrand along with Qantas, Vegemite, Woolworths and Myer, the company has four distinct property service brands including Raine & Horne Residential, Raine & Horne Commercial, Raine & Horne Rural and Raine & Horne Financial.

-ENDS-

For further media information contact:

Kit Bashford, National Marketing & Communications Manager on 02 9258 5400