Queensland’s two-tier rental market: the lowdown

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The outlook for Queensland’s property market continues to improve – but there are a few things investors need to know about its rental market.

According to the latest REIQ Residential Rental Survey, vacancy rates in the Sunshine State’s southeast and in its major tourism centres are tight while vacancy rates in its resources centres are weak.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said vacancy rates remained steady across most of the state, with improvements in some key regional markets.
“But something of a two-tier affect is still evident in the state’s rental market,” she says.  

This is due to the fact that many of Queensland’s former hotspot resources centres are struggling with the effects of the mining downturn on rental demand and/or property oversupply.

Mercorella said that most of these areas (eg: Gladstone, Rockhampton) recorded some improvement – but they still have vacancy levels above four percent.

Mackay was the only region to record a significant increase in its vacancy rate, while Townsville’s vacancy rates have tightened but it still has a significant oversupply.

On a brighter note, the rental markets in once-troubled areas like Cairns and Bundaberg showed evidence of considerable improvement.

Queensland’s renowned tourism centres (eg: the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast) also recorded low vacancy rates and tight rental conditions.

The Sunshine Coast’s vacancy rate is now one percent, which is the lowest of any major region in the state, Mercorella said.

“Population growth and a lack of investor activity are contributing to these tight conditions, particularly in hinterland areas where agents are struggling to find enough rental properties to meet demand.”

However, it is the greater Brisbane areas of Logan and Ipswich which are emerging as rental hotspots.

Mercorella said this was because tenants were starting to move further afield from inner Brisbane in search of more affordable rents.

“For the rent you’d pay for a three-bedroom house in Brisbane, you can get a four bedroom house in Brisbane’s outlying areas for up to $65 less a week.

“That’s why both Logan and Ipswich are now very tight rental markets, with the lowest vacancy rates in the Greater Brisbane region.”

Vacancy rates in Brisbane’s middle to outer suburbs were up 0.2 percentage points to two percent, while vacancy rates in the city’s inner suburbs were down to 2.9 percent from 3.4 percent at the end of June.


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