Want to buy an island? They’re going cheap in Australia

May 24th, 2009 - 10:13 am ICT by IANS  

Johnny Depp Sydney, May 24 (DPA) There’s never been a better time to buy your own holiday island in sunny Australia.
What sounds like the standard sales pitch of generations of white-shoed property merchants, this time is for real. At least 40 islands are for sale, most for half what their owners were asking for them three years ago.

Quoin Island, which comes with its own resort hotel, is up for sale at around one-third its 2007 asking price of 3.5 million Australian dollars ($2.6 million) and has been for more than a year.

Temple Island, also off the east coast midway between Brisbane and Townsville, is yours for 1.3 million Australian dollars.

A bit upmarket is Turtle Island, which Hollywood actor Julia Roberts once looked over, which is on the block for “any reasonable offer” after failing to attract attention at 6.5 million Australian dollars.

Some of the bits of paradise up for grabs are neither desert islands nor an inconvenient distance from the coast. Temple, for example, is within sight of Gladstone and comes with amenities all the way up to a swimming pool.

Now may not be the time to buy, warns University of Western Sydney economist Steve Keen. “This is only the beginning,” Keen said of the slide in prices.

The global economic downturn has not only cut the numbers who can afford to holiday in away-from-it-all resorts but has also capsized the market for trophy islands.

While joining island-owners Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, Mel Gibson and Richard Branson is now possible at a bargain-basement price, think of this: moneybags Branson would be selling his Makepeace Island way below cost if he put it on the market today.

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