Property news you need to know: The week ending 19 September
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Almost two-thirds of Queensland have recorded their lowest rental vacancy rates since 2010.
The vacancy rate for the majority of Queensland’s rental market reached new lows in the second quarter of 20201.
According to data for the June quarter shared by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ), 22 out of 35 local government areas recorded or matched their lowest vacancy rate in the last eleven years.
In total, just five of these LGAs saw vacancy rates rise in the June quarter, while the rest either tightened or remained where they were.
Brisbane City recorded one of the higher falls in vacancy rates, slipping from 2.1 per cent to 1.7 per cent. Cairns experienced a similar slip, falling from 1.1 per cent to 0.7 per cent.
Regions like Logan, Redland and Scenic Rim recorded falls of just 0.1 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, Ipswitch and the Gold Coast remained static.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella described the current conditions of Queensland’s rental market as a perfect storm “thrown up by COVID-19” and suggested that pandemic-driven migration away from cities “is still having an effect on vacancy rates”.
“With more people taking the opportunity of working remotely and not having to commute regularly to their offices, they are succumbing to the lure of moving to a region where they can enjoy a sea or tree change lifestyle,” she said.
Ms Mercorella said that this trend could be reflected in regions around Brisbane that are friendly to remote work, not just to Queenslanders, but migrants from other states.
Pointing to recent data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) suggesting that Queensland recorded the highest number of interstate migrants in the December quarter, she said that “the lifestyle motivation is strong interstate, with people seeking an escape to Queensland from the southern states”.
“Greater Brisbane also recorded the highest net internal migration rate of any capital city in the December quarter – with 4,800 arrivals.
Highlighting vacancy rates trends in central and northern Queensland, Ms Mercorella also suggested that “a ramping up of the resources industry and a recent revival of tourism’s fortunes (at least until the current interstate lockdowns) could be attracting workers to these regions, putting pressure on vacancy rates”.