Investors and owners in Queensland are being urged to release their properties onto the rental market to pacify the threats of a housing crisis. 

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) and Q Shelter have rolled out a campaign to call on property owners in the state to help ease the pressure in the rental market.

Estimates show that there are around 200,000 properties in Queensland that are currently vacant or are being used for short-term and holiday letting purposes.

Figures from SQM Research found that Brisbane had a vacancy rate of 1.1% over the first month of 2022, down from the 1.7% vacancy level recorded during the same period in 2021.

Latest figures from Domain Research showed a 0.8% vacancy rate for Brisbane, which also reflected a decline on a monthly and annual basis — this was the lowest vacancy rate for Brisbane on Domain’s records since 2017.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said the state is already experiencing tight rental conditions in the lead up to the recent flood crisis that could further exacerbate the market pressure.

“As we have seen, the catastrophic floods have resulted in thousands of rental and owner-occupied properties impacted by the floods, further reducing rental stock,” she said.

“At the same time, displaced tenants and owner-occupiers are now hitting the market desperate for alternative accommodation, adding to the already unprecedented demand for long term rental accommodation.”

The campaign involves a demand for the state government to help property owners to put up efforts to make it attractive for owners to put up their properties for rent.

“The government could do a lot more to reward property owners who chose to place their property on the long-term rental market and incentivise property owners to place or return their properties to the long-term rental market,” Ms Mercorella said.

Local real estate and property management agencies will be involved in the campaign to help owners explore their options.

Q Shelter executive director Fiona Caniglia said this campaign was also put up to address the homelessness in the state, which could be affected by the recent flooding and has been worsened by the pandemic. 

“Every vacant property that can be tenanted could be a home for someone going through the challenge of flood recovery,” she said.

“The number of people in Queensland facing homelessness will grow significantly unless we see more properties coming onto the long term rental market.”

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