27 Nov 2019
Words TONY RAGGATT Townsville Bulletin & Daily Telegraph
ResortBrokers write more than $27m in Townsville deals
A bounce-back in the North Queensland economy has driven demand for accommodation businesses with ResortBrokers recording more than $27 million in settlements and agreed sales in the region in the past 12 months.
The agency, which specialises in management rights, along with hotels and motels, has settled on nearly $15 million in sales from 12 transactions in Townsville and surrounding areas since October last year.
It also has a further eight agreed deals awaiting settlement worth a total of more than $12 million.
“The market is definitely improving here in North Queensland and I knew it was only a matter of time before there was a bounce-back,” ResortBrokers North Queensland specialist Des Fagg said.
“The phones are ringing at unprecedented levels and, importantly, the quality of those calls is really high and these are people who genuinely want to get into the accommodation business.
“The local economy is improving and there is good reason to be optimistic about the prospects for jobs, which bodes well for household spending over the next few years, and tourism numbers are showing double digit increases as well.”
Some of the biggest sales include the freehold on the Queens Beach Tourist Village in Bowen for $4.95 million, the freehold on the Cluden Park Motor Inn for $2 million and the management rights for Springbank Urban Village in Idalia, which settled last week for $2.4 million.
Management rights typically include the ability for an on-site manager to earn fees from letting out apartments in a strata titled building as well as earning a salary for managing day-to-day duties such as cleaning.
ResortBrokers has also secured the exclusive sales rights to a suite of eight Quest Apartment Hotels properties across Australia.
ResortBrokers says the $27 million in accommodation sales is an almost seven-fold increase from 2014-15 and 2015-16 when the North Queensland economy was at its lowest point in recent history.
When Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel refinery at Yabulu closed its doors in 2016, Townsville lost around 800 jobs and nearly $1 billion from its economy overnight.
But Townsville Enterprise’s August 2019 Quarterly Economic Snapshot report reveals the North Queensland labour market has strengthened, while tourism is also performing strongly.
The report shows the region attracted 2.98 million visitors over the 12 months to March 2019 which was 12.5 per cent higher than in 2018.
“I’ve had a good mix of experienced operators who are seeing these numbers in addition to the already extensive number of people looking to get into the industry for the first time,” Mr Fagg said.
“They’re now looking to capitalise on this upswing which might still have a way to go yet. All the fundamentals are there, especially when you look at the infrastructure projects in the pipeline.”
Major projects include the $2.25 billion Singapore Australia Military Training Initiative, the $2 billion Adani Carmichael Mine Project, the $300 million Sun Metals Zinc Refinery expansion, Stage 1 and 2 of the Haughton Pipeline Duplication Project and the $193 million Port of Townsville Channel Widening.
The region also has major manufacturing projects under consideration which total $4.06 billion, including for lithium-ion batteries, fertiliser production and nickel and cobalt.