Properties are being sold in less than 24 hours and rental vacancy rates are touching zero in areas around the resource-rich Queensland town of Gladstone, local agents have reported.
“Currently, some properties are selling a day after hitting the market,” said Raine & Horne Calliope/Tannum Sands sales consultant Liana Wynne.
The two towns, located about 15 minutes from Gladstone, are experiencing fierce competition for properties and rentals, she said.
Raine and Horne said the region’s major resources projects, such as the $16.2 billion Gladstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, and investment in the region by Rio Tinto and QGC (Queensland Gas Company), are proving key real estate growth drivers.
“Initiatives such as the LNG project are underpinning the local residential property market and given the massive influx of employees they’re attracting, we don’t see demand for homes dropping off for the remainder of 2011," Ms Wynne said.
“Four bedroom homes are the most highly sought after and when it comes to new developments, properties are selling as soon as a slab is laid."
Rental vacancy rates in the Calliope and Tannum Sands were also close to zero, she added, pointing to the influx of workers requiring accommodation.
This included employees of companies such as engineering and construction firm Bechtel, who were renting homes, hotels, motels and caravan parks in the region for continuous one and two year periods.
“The minimum rental now offered by our office is $450 per week for a three bedroom home, while it can cost up to $600 per week to rent a four bedroom home.
“People are looking for homes wherever they can find them, and in some cases tenants are even pooling their money to pay rents up to $1,000 a week.”