Queensland’s tightest rental markets revealed
Queensland’s tightest rental market has been revealed, with desperate property seekers competing for just 0.3 per cent of housing stock.
Vacancy rates in Maryborough in the Fraser Coast region plunged from 1.6 per cent in the September quarter to a tiny 0.3 per cent, according to the latest REIQ Rental Vacancy Rate Report.
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“As a region, the Fraser Coast reported a vacancy rate of 0.9 per cent, pulled up slightly by Hervey Bay’s 1.4 per cent vacancy rate — making things tough for would-be renters within the region,” the report said.
One Realty Maryborough property manager Julie Neilsen said available stock was renting “quickly”, with many applications processed and finalised within 24 hours.
“One property we had 17 applications but at another one, we had two … there is no rhyme or reason to it,” she said.
“It is going well (for landlords) in terms of yields, and we do have some stock coming on so there are places available.”
In the Greater Brisbane region, vacancy rates have been pulled in to the “tight range” due to a shrinking rental property pond in the Moreton Bay and Redlands regions, with those markets shrinking to 1.4 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively.
“Greater Brisbane’s rental market remained in the upper end of the tight range for the fifth consecutive quarter, with a vacancy rate of 2.4 per cent, up from 2.2 per cent the previous quarter,” the report revealed.
“The Greater Brisbane area hasn’t seen a healthy rental market since March, 2018.
“That market had been consistently healthy since December 2015, peaking in the September quarter of 2016 at 3.3 per cent and declining steadily ever since.”
Vacancy rates also remain tight in the middle and outer rings, where renters are competing for just 2.4 per cent and 2.2 per cent of available properties.
“The changing market is reflected in median rents, with three-bedroom houses, two-bedroom units and three-bedroom townhouses increasing by around 1.9 per cent over the year from March 2018 to 2019,” the report revealed.
But the news has improved for renters in other areas, with the Inner Brisbane rental vacancy rate rising from 2.1 per cent (tight) to 3.3 per cent (healthy).
Eadan Hockings of Living Here Cush Partners said the oversupply of new housing in the inner city market was showing signs of “correction”, and a healthy vacancy rate was a “good thing”.
He said the incentives that were being offered by landlords to entice renters had “dried up”, with most properties rented within a few weeks.
“These things are cyclical,” he said. “And if approvals for new developments don’t increase, I would expect that we will see rents increase as existing stock continues to be absorbed.
“I would also imagine it would then tend in favour of the landlord if we then see an undersupply (of new product).”
Ipswich and Logan also moved in to healthier territory with the June quarter vacancy rates increasing to 2.9 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively.
On the Gold Coast, the lure of a sun and surf lifestyle had created a persistently tight rental market, but the vacancy rate has now improved to 2.8 per cent — the first time the holiday haven has moved in to the healthy range in ten quarters.
“The Gold Coast’s rental market hasn’t been comfortably healthy since 2013, according to the report.
Median rents for three-bedroom houses, two-bedroom units and three-bedroom townhouses on the Gold Coast have increased by around 2.2 per cent over the year from March 2018 to 2019.
By comparison, the growing appeal of the Sunshine Coast has seen its rental market tighten to 2.3 per cent, with rents also increasing by around 1.95 per cent.
In the regions, rental vacancies have softened in Cairns, rising from 1.4 per cent to 2.4 per cent over the last quarter.
Cairns has remained consistently tight since September 2016, with median rents jumping around 5 per cent between March 2018 and March this year.
On the back of a boosted mining sector, the vacancy rate in Mackey has tightened from 2.9 per cent to 1.5 per cent — a win for landlords chasing a strong yield with rents boosted by about 6.69 per cent over the year to March.
Toowoomba also continues to be a tight rental market with vacancies on 1.7 per cent, with property managers indicating that council measures to reduce the local oversupply of units is likely behind the result, according to the report.
Vacancy rates in Bundaberg and Rockhampton have also tightened, with Bundy renters seeing a dramatic drop in available properties from 3.1 per cent to 1.3 per cent over the quarter.
The Townsville rental market, which took a hammering after the floods, has softened but remains tight at 2.2 per cent, while rental vacancies in Gladstone remain unchanged at a healthy 3.1 per cent.
The Burdekin region, which is south of Townsville, had the state’s weakest rental market at 4.3 per cent vacancies.
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