New Aquarium provides another boost to the Cairns Economy

The new Cairns Aquarium opened on 24th September 2017 after 6 years of planning and construction. The newest attraction in Cairns was completed at a reported cost of $54 Million AUD and has delighted both tourists and locals. It is estimated that approximately 700,000 people will visit the attraction every year.

This is the first aquarium to be constructed in Australia in 18 years and is a further sign of increased confidence and investment in both the local market and in the tourism industry.  

The aquarium is a three-level building with total gross area in the vicinity of 7,800 square metres comprising 71 live exhibits. The underwater viewing tunnel is the main feature of the attraction.

The adjoining 250 seat “Aqualuna” Restaurant also features a 70,000 Litre Black Tip Reef Shark Tank where you can watch the fish and sharks swim while enjoying some fine Italian cuisine.  

Find Out More at:


Residential Property Bargains still available in the Cairns Region

Despite the unprecedented growth in house prices in Sydney and Melbourne over the past 5 years, house prices have remained affordable in other cities and to a greater extent in regional areas.


The Cairns region with its reported population of 162,451 residents (according to the Cairns Regional Council website), tropical climate, and scenic surrounds has a very affordable median house price of $397,000 (as at June 2017).


While there has been increasing activity in the prestige market with higher numbers of sales of $1,000,000+ plus houses, there are still many bargains to be had in suburban areas within 20 minutes drive of the CBD.


This 3 bedroom house in Edmonton (approximately 16kms south of Cairns CBD) sold in March 2017 for $190,000.

Edmonton House

The “renovator” house is sited on a 615m² allotment within close proximity to local services and amenities. The property was sold by Professionals Cairns South; see:



This 3 bedroom house in Manoora (approximately 5kms north-west of Cairns CBD) also sold in March 2017 for $190,000.

Manoora House

The house is sited on a 729m² allotment also within close proximity to local services and amenities. The property was sold by RE/MAX Cairns; see:


For a bargain 4 bedroom house, this house in Woree (approximately 9kms south of Cairns CBD) sold in March 2017 for $265,000.

Woree House

This “renovator” house is sited on a 907m² allotment. The property was sold by Garry Walker & Associates; see:


There are also some bargains available in the residential unit market, with some 1 bedroom units selling under $80,000 and even some 2 bedroom units transferring for under $100,000.


This 1 bedroom unit in Westcourt (approximately 3 kms west of the Cairns CBD) sold in May 2017 for $75,500.

This upper level unit is situated in a group with a pool and tennis court and was rented at $175 per week. The property was sold by DJ Smith Property; see:


This 2 bedroom unit in Manunda (approximately 5 kms west of the Cairns CBD) sold in April 2017 for $73,750.

Manunda Unit

This ground level unit is situated in a group with a pool. The property was sold by RE/MAX Cairns; see:


Although the Cairns local economy is displaying positive indicators at present, the residential property market has remained steady over the last 2-3 years and there are numerous affordable investments currently available in the market. Should the local economy continue on its improving trend, those affordable investments may start to disappear. Record low vacancy rates and rising rental trends will put pressure on market values, particularly as yields in general have been decreasing in many areas of the country in recent times.


Valuer-General’s 2017 Property Market Movement Report shows minimal changes in land values in Far North Queensland

Land photo

The Valuer General Office Market Movement Report was issued in conjunction with 2017 Statutory Land Valuation assessments conducted for the Mareeba; Tablelands; and the Cassowary Coast Council areas in Far North Queensland. An update to the Statutory Land Valuations within Cairns Regional Council local government area was not conducted for 2017.


The report showed that land values of residential allotments on the whole remained relatively unchanged from the previous assessments carried out in 2015.


Townships with the Atherton Tablelands experienced stable land values over the period. “The main property driver for the Atherton Tablelands is the agricultural and intensive grazing sector which is strong and underpins the values within the townships of Atherton, Malanda and Yungaburra. Values in these townships have generally remained unchanged.”


The report also noted that Mareeba has similar drivers to those found in the Atherton Tablelands. Residential land values in the locality has also remained relatively similar, however some of the rural residential market has seen some level of increases: “The rural residential market adjacent to the town of Mareeba is still strong and has experienced minor increases in value.”


Residential land within the Cassowary Coast Regional Council area has experienced relatively stable values in the coastal towns of Mission Beach and Cardwell, as well as in the town of Tully. Whereas residential land values in the town of Innisfail and surrounding townships have fallen slightly. “Residential values have generally softened in the town of Innisfail, as well as in smaller coastal and hinterland localities such as Wangan, Mourilyan, Mundoo, South Johnstone, Silkwood, El Arish and Kennedy.”


The report noted that land values for farming land have increased slightly over the assessment period due to increasing demand for quality farming properties. “The agricultural sector is generally strong with high commodity prices, particularly within the sugar and grazing industries, being a major driver in the property market. Farming land values have generally increased over the last 24 months as sales volumes have picked up.“


Commercial and Industrial property sales activity has been relatively slow over the assessment period. Land values of such properties have remained stable to having some decreases, particularly in Innisfail and other localities on the Cassowary Coast, where demand has further softened in line with the trend for residential land. “Commercial, industrial and multi-unit lands have generally mirrored the residential trend in Cassowary Coast townships. Values have softened for premium sites within Edith and Rankine streets, Innisfail.”


Sales activity in the Pastoral sector has been limited to only a small number of sales reportedly due to a “lack of buyer capacity”.  Land values in this sector of the market have remained stable despite positive indicators for this market sector. “The broader market fundamentals for large grazing enterprises in North Queensland…..are better than they have been in some time.”


The Valuer Generals Market Movement Report for the North Queensland localities results overall in no significant changes to land values over the assessment period, with some localities having slight decreases in assessed land values. The trend for the regional areas assessed is similar to slightly contrasting to the Cairns market wherein land values have remained stable to marginally increasing. Residential land sales volumes in the Cairns suburban areas has been decreasing over the past 18 months, however prices achieved in some newer subdivisions have experienced steady growth in this time. A somewhat subdued demand for non-prime located Industrial property has seen land values in this sector remain relatively unchanged in recent times. Some high profile sales of commercial land within the last 2 years has resulted in growing confidence for Cairns CBD and prime located commercial property which has caused some upward pressure on pricing in this sector.


A full copy of the Valuer-General’s Property Market Movement Report can be accessed at:


$1M+ AUD House Sales on the rise in Cairns

High Value House

The number of house sales transferring with a price tag of over $1,000,000 in the Cairns suburban areas has been increasing steadily over the past few years, despite median price statistics showing relative stability in values.

The 2016 calendar year experienced 29 house sales with a price tag of over $1 Million, up 11.5% in sales volumes from 26 house sales in the same price category from the year prior. In fact the 2016 calendar year experienced more $1M+ price sales than any year prior.

Since 2014 there have been 26-29 house sales over $1 Million occurring in the Cairns region, in comparison to only 12-15 sales per year in the same price category occurring between 2011 and 2013.

The 2016 calendar year also experienced 10 Unit Sales at or above the $1 Million mark, being the highest number of sales in the price range since 2009 around the time of the GFC.

$1M AUD Cairns House Sales Graph

The highest sale price achieved for a house in the Cairns Region in the 2016 calendar year was $2,000,000 for a 5 Bedroom 4 Bathroom dwelling sited on a 30.6 hectare allotment with surrounding rainforest.

The property is located in the suburb of Earlville within 10kms from the Cairns CBD. The property was reportedly sold by First National Real Estate Cairns Central.



Upper end market sales have occurred both via local real estate agents and via off-market transactions. shows 6 house sales with a price tag of $1M or more occurring in the Cairns region to date in 2017, plus 5 unit sales above $1 Million.

Many participants consider that Cairns continues to offer good value in the upper end price bracket and demand for such properties appears to be remaining relatively stable to strong.


Note: The above information has been extrapolated using third party data for the Cairns suburban region with the main source being Property Data Solutions Pty Ltd. Not to be used, relied upon or republished without prior authorisation.


IVS Race Day & Desert Race

Finke Desert Race - events

Finke Desert Race

At Integrated Valuation Services we all work hard. Here are just a few of the ways we relax and enjoy ourselves outside of work. Our Managing Director competing the the Finke Desert Race and IVS Race Day.


Rare Storm in The Alice

Hail Storm - events

Alice Springs recently received a major hail storm which is rare for a remote area of Australia. There was a lot of flooding and damage done to houses, shops and cars. For a lot of people living in Alice Springs this was the first time that they had ever seem hail.


Cairns Units Showing Strong ROI

Unit groups in Cairns show strong returns

Unit groups in Cairns show strong returns

CoreLogic have recently reported that Cairns suburbs have been included in 4 out of 5, and 6 out of 10 of the country’s top yielding suburbs for Residential Units. The suburbs of Woree, Bungalow, Manunda and Westcourt were Australia’s top performers with regards to rental returns in data to November 2015. Yields achieved were around 8.0% to 8.5% on a gross basis (source: PropertyValue by CoreLogic – Feb 2016).


Katherine – Market Commentary

Katherine is a regional centre with a population of approximately 10,000 people located on the Katherine River about 320 kilometres south of Darwin. The town is a service and retail centre for the surrounding pastoral and horticulture industries and aboriginal communities with both State and Commonwealth agencies based there. The town is also home to the headquarters of three major local government authorities, being  Katherine Town Council, Roper Gulf Shire Council and Victoria Daly Shire Council.