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Regions buck the trend of rising vacancy rates

06 February 2015 Staff Reporter

While vacancy rates are up for half of Queensland’s major regions, a few recorded significant drops, says the peak industry body.

While vacancy rates are up for half of Queensland’s major regions, a few recorded significant drops, says the peak industry body.

Real Estate Institute of QLD chief executive Antonia Mercorella said while vacancy rates increased for half of Queensland’s major regions, Moreton Bay, Redland City and Gladstone bucked the trend.

“Moreton Bay and Redland City both recorded a significant drop in vacancy levels, seeing their vacancy rates move below 1.5 per cent,” she said.

“Despite the Christmas period, REIQ agents say tenant demand remains strong in these areas, with two to five applicants per rental listing.”

The REIQ Residential Rental Survey for December 2014 said, meanwhile in regional Queensland, Gladstone has finally begun to see signs of recovery, with an improvement in its vacancy rate over the three months to December.

“Local agents in Gladstone tell us that although new stock is still trickling onto the market, tenant demand is improving,” Ms Mercorella said.

“As at the end of December, Gladstone’s vacancy rate improved 0.5 percentage points to 4.2 per cent.

“This is the lowest the region has seen in two years since the downturn in the resources sector,” she added.

Ms Mercorella said outside tourism centres, Toowoomba continues to see tight rental conditions. However, increased investor activity in the region has finally converted to an increase in vacancy levels.

“Other major regional rental markets remain weak, with Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Mackay all recording an increase in vacancy levels,” she said.

“In Bundaberg REIQ agents are reporting that affordability is a key issue with tenants, while some are still seeing tenants leave the area for work reasons.”

Ms Mercorella said, in Townsville vacancy levels remained relatively unchanged at 4.7 per cent at the end of December.  

She said tight conditions remained for the state’s tourism centres, with all but Cairns recording little change to vacancy levels since the end of September.

“The improving tourism market is continuing to have a positive effect on local job opportunities in these regions, which is resulting in increased tenant demand,” Ms Mercorella said.

At the end of December the Sunshine Coast and Noosa recorded a 1.1 per cent vacancy rate, while the Fraser Coast was down marginally to 1.9 per cent.

Meanwhile the Gold Coast and Cairns recorded vacancy levels of 2.2 per cent.

Regions buck the trend of rising vacancy rates
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