Queensland copes with a tough rental market

by Julia Corderoy14 Aug 2014
Rental markets have plateaued in Queensland while the sales market is showing strength, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland. 

REIQ Acting CEO Antonia Mercorella said the stabilisation of the rental market coincided with a surge in sales across many parts of the State.

“Vacancy rates still remain tight in many parts of the State, however according to REIQ members the rental market is starting to stabilise, with vacancies creeping up in some areas.

“This is the result of strengthening first home buyer activity, which is reducing tenant demand, along with increased investor activity which is increasing the rental supply in some areas.”

Regional centres, particularly those in the mining areas have the highest rental vacancy rates, according to the REIQ survey.

“Gladstone’s rental market remains in oversupply, however according to local agents the level of tenant and investor activity has returned to ‘normal’ rental market conditions.

“Similar conditions prevail in the Mackay rental market, however vacancy rates at the end of June improved slightly, dropping 0.7 percentage points to 6.8%,” Mercorella said.

Other areas affected by the tough rental market are Rockhampton – where most vacancies have been on the market for four or more weeks, and Townsville – which has recorded its highest vacancy rate the REIQ survey has ever seen, at 5.4%.

On the flip side, Queensland’s tourism centres have continued to remain strong, despite increasing activity in their sales markets.

“The Gold Coast recorded a drop in its vacancy rate, down 0.5 percentage points to 1.7% – a result not seen since December 2012.

“On the Sunshine Coast, the new regional council area consisting of Caloundra and Maroochy regions sits on a very tight 1.1%.

“In both Noosa and Cairns, vacancy rates are at two per cent, while Fraser Coast continues to enjoy healthy market conditions with the vacancy rate remaining unchanged since March at 2.5%,” Mercorella said.