Rents increase as vacancies dissipate

One Queensland area has recently seen the housing vacancy rate dip below one per cent, causing massive pressure to be placed on rentals, according to a new report.

Broad Property Research & Advisory’s April 2013 report has found that the Whitsunday region has a worsening housing shortage, which may spell opportunity for investors.

Author of the report, Paul Broad, said that data from the Residential Tenancies Authority found the median weekly rent for four-bedroom houses in Airlie Beach and Cannonvale has increased by 20 per cent to $550 per week over the past year.

Mr Broad said that there would be “an average annual population increase of 1,000 new permanent residents each year, a growth rate of 2.2 per cent per annum, which is higher than Queensland’s forecast population growth rate of 1.8 per cent per annum for the period to 2031.

“In general terms, this reflects the move of resident populations across Australia, away from inland regions to the coast.”  


Potential reasons for this increase may be due to $39 billion of economic activity in the pipeline for the region. This includes a proposed $1.5 billion LNG plant at Abbot Point, a $1.5 billion expansion of Abbot Point Coal Terminal and $17 billion in rail projects.

These drivers, having caused the rent to soar, may see the prices rise in turn.

Principal of Ray White Whitsundays said that the shortage has been pushing renters into considering home buying.

“People are increasingly looking to buy rather than rent as it makes sense financially, given the way rents are rising,” he said.

 “At the current rate of uptake, Airlie Beach is getting to a critically low stage where more residential development is needed to facilitate the existing population and predicted growth,” he said.

“We need more stock to satisfy the number of new investors, homebuyers and renters moving into the area.”

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