Queensland Resorts Sell at a Discount as Aussie Clips Tourism

Luxury resorts along Queensland’s coast, a destination for Great Barrier Reef visitors, are selling at a fraction of peak prices as a rising Australian dollar sends domestic vacationers overseas and hampers a recovery from last year’s hurricanes.

Properties on Dunk and Bedarra islands changed hands late last year for about 15 percent and 20 percent of their 2007 values. Club Mediterranee (CU) SA’s Lindeman Island resort is on the market with an asking price of about A$10 million ($10.5 million), a 10th of what the French company spent to buy and expand it in the early 1990s.

For-sale advertisements of hospitality properties in receivership jumped 47 percent to 85 in 2011, according to real estate company Colliers International. The decline in tourism to tropical North Queensland has led banks to push indebted resorts to declare insolvency or force them to sell, sending values to the lowest levels since 2000, said Wayne Bunz, senior director for hotels at property broker CBRE Group Inc.

“The sales are starting to gain momentum,” said Bunz, who is based in Brisbane and has handled the Dunk, Bedarra and Lindeman island deals. 

Source: Bloomberg.com