Vacancy rates jumped in the Gold Coast and inner Brisbane in December, marking a contrast from Queensland’s mostly steady rental market.

The Gold Coast’s vacancy rate drastically jumped from 1.7% to 4.8% over the period. This is due to the projects that were finished and added to the rental pool.

Inner Brisbane’s vacancies, meanwhile, were up from 2.1% to 4%. However, this is usual for this market in the December quarter since renters pull away from the area during Christmas season to early January. Vacancy rates are expected to fall by the March quarter.

Redlands, meanwhile, tightened from 4.8% to 1.6%, signifying that it is back to its usual level of around 2% vacancies.

Rental conditions of other markets in the state remained steady, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ).

Brisbane’s middle ring was stable at 2% from September to the December quarter, while Brisbane local government areas rose by 0.5%, from a tight 2% closer to a healthy ranking of 2.5%.

Over the past year, rental in Brisbane LGA tightened a little as the more affordable middle ring pulled away tenants away from the central suburbs. However, it is likely that the market will tighten during the coming year, provided the supply to the inner city apartment market slows.

The Greater Brisbane region, similarly, tightened from 2.4% to 2.3%.  Outer Brisbane, including Ipswich, Logan, Moreton Bay and Redland, tracked the similar direction—down from 2.8% to 2%.

Ipswich tightened from 2.4% to 1.8%. This was driven by investors who are wary about the ongoing state government review of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act. In addition, the population grew from 166,904 in 2011 to 193,733 –which will increase the strain on rental accommodation.

Logan’s vacancy rate slid from 3.5% to 2. 4% as a result of the city’s population growth. From 2011 to 2016, the population of Logan rose by more than 25,000, or the equivalent of more than 5,000 people a year.

Moreton Bay kept its vacancy rate at 2%, suggesting that the region’s supply and demand are well balanced.

The Sunshine Coast SD (Sunshine Coast LGA and Noosa Shire combined) is now firmly classified a tight rental market. The vacancy rate has declined from 2.4% to 1.8%. The tightened conditions will continue to push prices up, and it is possible that rents will change if these conditions continue.