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Island Real Estate agents and the island building industry are experiencing a huge increase in interest in island land sales.

The impetus has come from two sources: the Federal Government’s Homebuilder incentive scheme and recent major TV news exposure on both channels seven and nine inspired by a supposed ‘land sale’ by Redland City Council.

Nearly all island real estate agents have reported a huge increase in inquiry for island land, coupled with the incentive that purchasers may be able to receive the $25,000 Homebuilder grant.

Jasmine Person of island legal firm iLegal Services told the Friendly Bay Islander: “After the announcement of the Queensland shutdown due to the Coronavirus, our conveyancing dropped away significantly for about four weeks.

“Since then, however, it has escalated considerably.

“So much so that it is approximately 30% higher than it was prior to the health Covid-19 emergency.”

Robyn Jessop of LJ Hooker Macleay Island says the increase in island land sales started prior to the Homebuilder $25,000 announcement.

“People are just starting to realise the value of the islands and what they have to offer.

“Our demographic is in step with the Prime Minister’s objectives for the Homebuilder program and assisting people on lower incomes into housing.”

Terri Barclay, of T Barclay Real Estate, said: “We have seen the enquiry rate go from next to nothing at the height of the virus crisis to non-stop in the last month.

“We had record sales in April which drastically reduced at the end of April into May and then, in mid May, enquiry picked up again.

“We are finding, as are agents across the country, that we are searching for enough properties to meet the buyer demands both on Macleay and Russell Islands.

“The common lament I am hearing from my sales staff is "we need more stock".

“Though there are some bargain hunters out there making low offers, the offers are generally not being considered as it unnecessary as other buyers are there willing to pay close to, if not, full price.

“At this time, things are certainly looking good for the bay islands with buyers re -evaluating their lives after lock down and deciding that the type of relaxed lifestyle we take for granted on our beautiful Islands is preferable to where they have been in capital cities.

“Investors are also starting to realise that property is a safer place to keep their funds.

“Our tranquil islands offer a superior lifestyle and an opportunity for excellent investment and growth is long overdue, so this may well be the beginning of the recovery of our market that we have been waiting for,” Terri Barclay added.

Bruno Komel of Russell Island Real Estate also reports good news on the property front for the islands.

“Interest is strong and has been for the last 4-5 weeks.

“We have sold well over 30 blocks in just over a month, with many keen to take advantage of the Federal Government’s $25,000 grant.

“A boom in home building is sure to follow,” Bruno said.

Ian Goddard of KCW Developments says the impact of the stimulus is already evident.

“Our enquiry rate for home building has increased considerably and in recent days we have received several building contracts

“This is going to be wonderful for the island building industry and for island tradies and services,: Ian said.

Simon Gordon of Island Life Real Estate says “There has been a marked increase in land sales and enquiries on Russell Island. This can be due to recent media coverage and also people actively seeking affordable living and the perception that land values will increase on the islands due to development on the mainland getting ever closer.

“The majority of people buying do not now ask about a bridge coming; My view is that a bridge may never come, however, it is an advantage to buy into island living, the lifestyle and affordability of island life.”