The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) recently released its quarterly vacancy rate data. The report revealed that Brisbane’s middle ring experienced a sharp rise in vacancies, while the inner ring remained relatively consistent with the June quarter of 2016.

Brisbane’s inner city (0-5km) vacancy rate for the September quarter rose from 3.4% to 3.7%, whereas the middle ring (5-20km) rose from 2.3% to 4.5%. 

Antonia Mercorella, chief executive officer of REIQ, said the surprising result in Brisbane’s middle ring was likely due to a combination of factors.

“Inner-city property managers and landlords are particularly sensitive to the oversupply question at the moment and rents have become extremely competitive, luring tenants from the middle ring into the inner ring,” Mercorella said. “Also, a significant level of development has come online in the middle ring and some agents have reported that without being able sell, many of those properties have been put into the rental pool.” 

“Another contributing factor is that interest rates are very low and with the State Government’s recent boost to the first-home buyer grant from $15,000 to $20,000…that is influencing people’s decision to own rather than rent,” she added. 

Greater Brisbane’s vacancy rate remained in the healthy range (3.3%), whereas Brisbane LGA reached 4.1% in the September quarter. 

Other regions reported varying results. Ipswich has eased, lifting from 1.1% in June to 2.1% in September. Logan has tightened, moving from 2.8% to 2.0% during the same period.  

Moreton Bay has eased somewhat, going from 1.7% in the June quarter to 2.2% in the September quarter. 

“Last week, the State Government released its South-East Queensland Plan and projected our population to continue to grow, reaching 1.6 million by 2041. Governments of all levels now favour greater density of population growth and our city skylines will feature more units and townhouses than ever before,” Mercorella said. 


Regional Queensland yielded positive news, with consistent falls in vacancy rates for areas like Bundaberg, Gladstone, and Mackay.

“It’s encouraging to see the September falls are the start of a consistent trend, with small vacancy rate falls reported over the past few quarters in all of these regional centres,” Ms Mercorella said. “This is a sign that these markets are attracting workers who need rental accommodation.

Related stories:

Apartment Numbers Take Their Toll On Inner City Brisbane

Rental Conditions Vary Across Queensland