Tight Conditions Return to Queensland Rental Markets

The majority of Queensland’s rental markets have returned to tighter conditions, according to the REIQ’s latest Residential Rental Survey.

REIQ CEO Anton Kardash said the survey, carried out in March across all REIQ accredited agencies, found that the majority of the state recorded lower vacancy rates compared to three months ago.

“Queensland is seeing a return to a tighter rental market,” he said. “Stronger tenant demand and a decrease in the availability of stock are the common themes across the State.”

In Brisbane, the overall vacancy rate for the metropolitan area was back down to 2.3 per cent, as seen at the end of September last year. Excluding the spike recorded in December, the Brisbane vacancy rate has been around the 2 to 2.3 per cent mark for over 12 months now.

As expected, the Brisbane inner city rental market returned to a healthier vacancy rate following a spike in December. This is reportedly the result of easing asking rents to ensure vacancies are refilled quickly and also to compete with the new stock on the market.

Local agents are also reporting tenants deciding to move further out where they can achieve a larger property for the same weekly rent.

The greater Brisbane area however saw the largest decline in its vacancy rate, down to 1.9 per cent at the end of March. All of the surrounding local government areas recorded a drop of at least 0.3 percentage points. Logan City and Redland City recorded the largest drops, both down 0.8 percentage points to 1.2 and 1.6 per cent respectively.

Local agents in the southern greater Brisbane area report limited rental supply. Tenant demand is also up, while many are choosing to stay put with minimal to no rent increases on lease renewals.

Despite increased investor activity across Queensland in recent months, local agents report an increased number of sales of former investment properties to owner-occupiers, reducing the overall rental pool in some areas.

This is reportedly the case on the Sunshine Coast, where vacancy rates still remain very tight. The Maroochy and Noosa areas remain at all-time lows with vacancies below 1 per cent, while Caloundra saw its vacancy rate tighten further to 1.3 per cent.

On the Gold Coast tenant demand remains high, however increased investor activity is reportedly helping to offset this, with the vacancy rate easing to 2.2 per cent. According to some local agents however, these are the tightest conditions they’ve seen in a few years, with vacancies taking only 1 to 2 weeks on the market.

In regional Queensland, the state’s mining centres continue to record weak rental conditions, however all recorded a slight improvement in their respective vacancy rates.

Local agents in Gladstone and Mackay say investors are still very thin on the ground and rental stock remains in over-supply, with tenant demand also down.

Toowoomba continues to record very low vacancy rates, with local agents expecting investor interest, most notably from interstate, to pick up in the next 12 months.

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