Australia sold out for the Christmas holidays

Media release - 31st October, 2014

  • Close to 90% of holiday properties in some of Australia’s favourite beach locations have already been booked for Christmas 2014
  • The lower dollar and the new light rail is driving the Gold Coast’s holiday market
  • Byron Bay’s growing wedding-inspired holiday market is underpinning almost 100% occupancies in December and January
  • The internet is helping attract more overseas visitors to the NSW Central Coast, with holiday rents about 5% higher than in 2013

A lower dollar, stronger economy, stable unemployment rates and improved consumer confidence, combined with more Australians wanting a home-grown holiday this Christmas, is driving near record holiday occupancy rates in many of Australia’s favourite holiday getaways, according to leading property group, Raine & Horne.

“‘No vacancies’ best describes the situation in holiday accommodation markets in many of Australia’s favourite east coast holiday destinations, such as the Gold Coast, Byron Bay, and the NSW central and south coasts,” says Angus Raine, CEO/Executive Chairman of Raine & Horne.

QLD Gold Coast

Clark Brackenridge, Principal of Raine & Horne Surfers Paradise, says that holiday bookings for Christmas are running at about 100% – and 90% for January.

Surfers Paradise“If someone rings today, we will do it very tough to find them a two bedroom apartment for the Christmas and New Year period,” says Mr Brackenridge.

“If you do find an apartment, you can expect to pay up to $450 a night for a 2-bedder.”

The Australian dollar and the brand new GoldLinQ light rail service are driving the Gold Coast’s holiday market revival, according to Mr Brackenridge.

“The strong dollar over the past few years encouraged more Australians to travel overseas. However many Aussies now seem happier taking a local summer vacation at hotspots such as the Gold Coast.”

The completion of the light rail has also proven to be a revelation, says Mr Brackenridge, with more people using the service than many locals predicted.

“The centre of Surfers Paradise is back in top shape now that the construction work is over, and the tourists are flooding back accordingly.”

NSW Far North Coast

The holiday mecca of Byron Bay is fully booked for Christmas, according to Sophie Christou, Principal of Raine & Horne Byron Bay.

“Byron Bay is benefiting from a lower Australian dollar, which is encouraging more Australians to stay put this Christmas,” says Ms Christou.

“On the flipside, more expats, as well as visitors from the UK and New Zealand, are this year choosing Byron Bay for their Christmas holidays.”

Byron Bay is also becoming progressively more popular as a wedding destination, says Ms Christou.

“Wedding bookings have jumped by 20% annually over the last three years, with a summer marriage in Byron Bay an increasingly trendy option for brides and grooms.”

Entry-level holiday apartments in Byron Bay start from $3,000 for a summer break, ranging up to $10,000 a week for a four bedroom house or apartment, according to Ms Christou.

NSW Central Coast

Brett Hunter, General Manager of Raine & Horne Terrigal-Avoca Beach, says summer holiday occupancies are tracking at 85 to 90%, which is normal two months out from Christmas.

“However we have seen a 15% increase in the number of overseas holiday makers booking properties in Terrigal, Wamberal and Avoca, compared with this time last year,” said Mr Hunter.

“As a consequence, the additional demand for Central Coast holiday accommodation has increased prices by up to 5% compared with 2013.”

Mr Hunter attributes the increase in overseas holidaymakers to the lower Australian dollar, as well as Raine & Horne Terrigal/Avoca Beach’s strategic decision to utilise travel websites such as homeaway.com.au, which has helped attract more visitors from the UK, in particular.

Two bedroom apartments in Terrigal start from $1,500, according to Mr Hunter, with waterfront units available between $3,000 and $4,000 a week. Three bedroom houses range from $5,000 to $10,000 a week.

NSW South Coast

It’s also a case of ‘No Vacancies’ on the NSW South Coast, according to Tony Hopper, Co-Principal of Raine & Horne Mollymook/Milton.

“We’re almost totally booked out from 20 December to 17 January, with the majority of holidaymakers either from Sydney or Canberra,” says Mr Hopper.

“We’ve booked out earlier than previous years, with many savvy holidaymakers rebooking after enjoying our wonderful beaches last year.”

-ENDS-

For further media information contact:

Angus Raine, CEO/Executive Chairman, Raine & Horne on 0409 920 697

Andrew Harrington, National Communications Manager on 02 9258 5400