Look for in-fill to fill the land gap

I love filters. Not the kind in your fish tank or the ones on Snapchat

I love filters. Not the kind in your fish tank or the ones on Snapchat that make you look like a Kardashian, but the ones you can use online when searching for property. because when you use them properly, the results you can find at the moment are pretty startling.

For one, a general land search across Cairns will yield you 270 results available for sale (at least as recently as this week). All prices, sizes and places – great start. Drop that down to still available (not under contract) and its under 200. Still seems like plenty though, right? Lets go on…

Pull that back to Palm Cove to Gordonvale, and actually titled land that you could buy and build on tomorrow (excluding lot being sold off the plan or subject to registration)? Now you are at 105 listings.

Out of those 105, you’ve got everything from goat country (steep blocks more suited to split level or a lot of time on an earthmover) through to acreage and development site and everything in between.

You can count on one hand the number of flat blocks under $300,000. Given there aren’t too many builds going for under $300,000 these days, not only does that mean there is precious little available, but there is even less that’s affordable. New developments do offer some sunshine, but again you are looking at potentially long lead times on new Estates, and in the case of some areas in the southern corridor in particular, a lot of uncertainty around water and sewer infrastructure which is going to put a big hold on quick moves.

With no big solution likely to pop up, the way forward looks like a lot of little solutions instead – particularly small scale in-fill land – anything from a 1 into 2 or smaller scale, mum and dad type subdivisions.

Now this can be as simple as an old quarter acre block with the house at the front being cut into two blocks, with one at the rear sold off to knock out the mortgage or it might be a little more complicated, with boundary re-alignments, more lots created or even a longed-for affordable unit development. Located closer to town and services, and generally positioned on flat land, these plots can meet demand in particular for those looking to downsize – then freeing up larger established homes into the market. This kind of development needs council support though – both in the first instance and getting across the line. In the meantime, lets keep out fingers crossed on those bigger options too!