'Light at end of tunnel' for property market

Story by Cairns.com.au

THE real estate industry says there is cause for optimism in the region's property market.

Despite the Real Estate Institute of Queensland's March 2010 quarter report showing the median house price in Cairns fell by 0.7 per cent to 370,000, there is ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, says REIQ Cairns chairman Rick Szelpuk.

   He said the gas pipeline in Papua New Guinea could bring jobs into Cairns with demand for rental property from those moving to the area.

   "Also, with the Australian dollar getting more realistic, it allows opportunity for tourists to visit, and Cairns can benefit from this."

   Mr Szelpuk said the 30 per cent increase in mid-year enrolments at James Cook University was another positive sign.

   He said it was a good time for investors to consider buying property to rent out to university students.

   "There`s good value in rental properties. There`s high demand with just a five per cent vacancy rate which means 95 per cent are full,`` Mr Szelpuk said