It appears that lots of properties coming on to the market - which would otherwise be targeted by investors - are instead being sold to owner-occupiers, according to REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella.
“The net effect appears to be a shortage of rental supply” she said.
“Despite the tight conditions in the Southeast and our tourism centres, vacancy rates actually held steady or rose in these regions, which isn’t unusual for this time of the year.
“Residential vacancy rates are prone to seasonal fluctuations over the Christmas/New Year period and 2014 was no different.”
In December, many REIQ agents reported softer tenant demand with many leases expiring as students finish up their studies, while others looked elsewhere for new employment opportunities.
However, Moreton Bay and Redland City actually reported tighter conditions, as both saw their vacancy rates drop below 1.5%.
Other results include:
- Gladstone’s vacancy rate improved by 0.5% to 4.2%, over the three months to December - the lowest the region has seen in two years.
- Toowoomba is still seeing tight rental conditions, however increased investor activity has converted to an increase in vacancy levels.
- Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Mackay all recorded an increase in vacancy levels.
- Townsville’s remained unchanged at 4.7% at the end of December.
- Sunshine Coast and Noosa recorded a 1.1% vacancy rate.
- The Fraser Coast was marginally down to 1.9%.
- Gold Coast and Cairns recorded vacancy levels of 2.2%.
The rental market in many regions of Queensland seems to be affected by changes in the sales market, according to the REIQ.
“Normally when the sales market is performing strongly we see the rental market ease,” Mercorella said.
“It is clear that many investors are reaping the benefits of improved property prices and selling up – something many have been waiting for since 2009.
“It’s no secret that the GFC hit many investors’ hip pockets quite hard, and for those that have been able to ride out the storm that followed, it appears that many are seizing the opportunity to achieve a return on their original investment.”