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Vacancy rates tighten in Qld

By Brendan Wong
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Supply of rental properties in Queensland is not meeting a growing demand, according to the latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) data.

The REIQ June Residential Rental Vacancy Rate Survey has found vacancy rates have been tighter in June than in the same period last year.

Across south east Queensland, vacancy rates remained under three per cent and in most cases were tightening even further.

“With the exception of Brisbane, which remains at 2.1 per cent – a level that is indicative of more demand than supply – vacancy rates are trending lower in all other major regions of the south east,” REIQ CEO Anton Kardash said.

“In fact, our data shows that the Cairns, Bundaberg and Fraser Coast regions all recorded vacancy rates below three per cent and rates which were lower than at the same point in 2012.

“While lower vacancy rates means competition for rental properties is greater, it is also attracting more investors, which is good news for our property market.”

REIQ analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data found that the estimated property investor activity in Queensland was up 14.9 per cent to 5,121 dwellings financed in May this year.

The number of investors was also up by nearly 20 per cent compared to the month before, with the numbers of dwellings financed above the 10-year monthly average of 4,887.

“When you also consider the underlying dollar value of loans to Queensland investors captured by the ABS, it clearly shows that investment activity is at its highest level since June 2009,” Mr Kardash said.

Last year, the Gold Coast’s rental market was in oversupply territory at four per cent but according to an REIQ rental survey, its vacancy rate in June had fallen to 2.6 per cent.

Similarly, the Sunshine Coast had experienced a reduction in vacancy rate from 3.3 per cent in June last year to two per cent this year.

Following the floods in Bundaberg earlier this year, the vacancy rate in that region had returned to more normal levels in June, as demand reduced.

At the other end of the spectrum, however, Queensland’s mining regions continued to be impacted by lower rental demand, which was influencing vacancy rates in these areas.

Gladstone and Mackay’s vacancy rates continued to show signs of oversupply at 4.6 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively in June.

However, Rockhampton and Townsville both recorded an increase in vacancy rates, partially due to the downturn in the mining sector.

Rockhampton posted a vacancy rate of 3.4 per cent, up from 2.7 per cent, while Townsville recorded 4.5 per cent, up from 3.3 per cent in May.

Together with Cairns, Toowoomba posted the lowest vacancy rate of any major region, at 1.8 per cent.

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