Airlie Beach residents have easy access to the Great Barrier Reef.
Airlie Beach residents have easy access to the Great Barrier Reef. Darren Jew

Airlie Beach, a fantastic opportunity for investors

NOW is the time to buy in Airlie Beach.

PRDnationwide Whitsunday chief executive Annette Harm said the Whitsunday property market had been at the bottom of the cycle for more than a decade, offering fantastic opportunities for investors.

"From a practical point of view, that means you can purchase property at cost price or below," she said.

"For instance, you can purchase a block of land for less than the cost of developing the land. So without substantial reductions in taxes and regulations, which is highly unlikely, buying will never get better than it is now.

"On the upside, we know that people will never stop loving the Whitsundays so Whitsunday property investments present good capital growth in the long term."

Ms Harm said people could confuse Airlie Beach's boundaries.

"What most people know as Airlie Beach actually consists of three main suburbs," she said.

"The first one you pass through is Cannonvale before driving over the hills and dropping into the main street.

"While Cannonvale is largely residential housing, where the majority of locals live, the suburb of Airlie Beach (the main street and the surrounding hillside behind the main street) is largely apartments and short-term accommodation.

"At the end of the main street you pass into Jubilee Pocket, which, again, is largely residential housing and mostly populated by locals."

What makes Airlie Beach special is its location.

"Sandwiched on a narrow strip of land between the Conway National Park at the back and the Great Barrier Reef marine park in front, there is limited opportunity to invest and live in this stunning destination," Ms Harm said.

"Growing from a small, sleepy seaside town with a few fishing shacks into the vibrant tourist destination we see today. Despite this growth, Airlie still manages to maintain that relaxed seaside vibe."

When describing Airlie to potential clients, Ms Harm said it was all about its beauty.

"Airlie Beach - a destination without equal on the breathtaking Whitsundays coast," she said.

"As the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach is a world-renowned resort town, surrounded by 22,000ha of national park and 74 tropical islands."

Buyers are seeing the potential and the area is growing.

"Over the past two years, new building approvals across the Whitsunday local government area exceeded 200 houses per annum, which was 15 per cent up on the previous peak period in 2012-14," Ms Harm said.

And it's the lifestyle Airlie offers that is attracting them to relocate.

"You really can't go past the stunning scenery and water-based lifestyle," she said.

"We conveniently have most shops and amenities here that are needed. With a healthy night life, great restaurants, good schools and two major airports in the region, we aren't missing much. There is also a healthy sense of community."

The future of the Whitsundays is looking good, with tourism back after a bad season.

"The Whitsundays is a star about to be reborn," Ms Harm said.

"Coming out of the dark times for tourism post-Cyclone Debbie, we now have Daydream and Hayman Islands reopened. Tourist numbers will begin to climb again.

"Add to that the Adani mine approval, bringing a plethora of new residents to the area, keen to enjoy the Whitsunday lifestyle in their downtime. We will continue to see the suburb of Cannonvale grow with permanent owner occupier residents, snapping up land as the supply lessens. Now really is the time to get on board the Whitsunday lifestyle."

Ms Harm said the area was suitable for all demographics.

"We have plenty of fun and frivolity for the young party animals. Great schools and sporting clubs for families, as well as good health care and an award winning hospital. The older generation is also well catered for in the community," she said.

Homes are built to embrace the lifestyle and climate with entertainment being a feature.

"Our climate really does lend itself to an airy tropical entertainers home. Homes are primarily modern, with large outdoor areas. Airconditioning is of course a must," Ms Harm said.

"We are seeing a trend for Hamptons style homes in the area of late. It is hard to go past timber and greenery in a tropical home though."