Friday 28 January 2022

Unexpected Queensland Rental Hotspots Revealed

Queensland has the tightest rental markets in the country with just 0.1 per cent availability in some areas, but it is not the beaches or relatively affordable city locations locking in tenants.

The hottest places to rent in Queensland were between the Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg, according to the REIQ’s Residential Vacancy Report.

Vacancy rates hovered just above zero in Maryborough last year with neighbouring Gympie hitting 0.3 per cent and Bundaberg at 0.4 per cent.

This compared to Brisbane’s inner city at 2.3 per cent, middle at 1.3 per cent and outer area at 0.8 per cent.

Queensland coastal tourism centres faired better than the capital, including Sunshine Coast (0.5pc), Caloundra Coast (0.6pc), Gold Coast (0.6pc), Fraser Coast (0.6pc), and Noosa (0.8pc).

Tightest residential vacancy in Queensland

Rank Location Dec 2021 Dec 2020 Dec 2019
1 Maryborough 0.1% 0.2% 1.4%
2 Southern Downs 0.2% 0.4% 2.5%
2 Tablelands 0.2% 0.5% 7.0%
4 South Burnett 0.3% 0.7% N/A
4 Gympie 0.3% 0.3% 0.8%
4 Goondiwindi 0.3% 0.6% N/A
7 Mareeba 0.4% 1.0% N/A
7 Cook 0.4% 0.7% 1.8%
7 Toowoomba 0.4% 0.7% 2.4%
7 Rockhampton 0.4% 0.2% 1.6%
7 Bundaberg 0.4% 0.4% 1.5%
7 Noosa Hinterland 0.4% 0.2% 2.3%
7 Maroochy Coast 0.4% 0.2% 1.1%

^Source: REIQ Dec 2021 quarter

REIQ chief executive Antonia Mercorella said their expectation was 2022 would bring the need for more housing as the population continued to rise and international borders opened, keeping competition for rental stock high.

“Regional areas growing due to new employment prospects but these areas need to find housing solutions to take advantage of the economic boost a rising population could deliver,” Mercorella said.

“For example, Maryborough’s train manufacturing contract is set to support up to 800 jobs over the next decade, but with vacancy sitting at 0.1 per cent, where these workers will live is puzzling.

“Queensland needs additional housing supply to ease these tight conditions and accommodate the masses relocating to the state, and this supply simply can’t come soon enough.”

Mercorella said she could not remember a time when tight vacancy rates were so consistently and drastically low across Queensland, saying the pandemic was responsible for the unusual circumstances.

“We’re experiencing the perfect storm of low housing supply levels, incredibly high interstate and intrastate migration particularly to our regions, longer length tenancies as tenants choose to stay put for greater security and certainty, and less shared tenancies as people want more space now they’re working from home,” she said.

“A rental market as extraordinarily tight as this presents challenges to local economies and to the communities.

“We acknowledge that while current market conditions are favourable from an investor’s perspective, no one wants to see people struggling to find a place to live, forced into unsuitable housing or living unsustainably outside of their means.”


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