Local agents take down a ‘For Rent’ sign in Cairns, which is one of the tightest coastal rental markets in Queensland.
IT has become almost impossible to find a property to rent in Mackay, with the regional city’s vacancy rate now the tightest in Queensland.
The latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland residential vacancy rate report shows the coastal market’s vacancy rate tightened by a whopping 100 basis points in the September quarter.
The rental vacancy rate in Mackay has fallen from 1.9 per cent to 0.9 per cent in three months. Picture: Rob Maccoll.
The rental vacancy rate in Mackay fell from 1.9 per cent to 0.9 per cent in just three months, which means the city is pretty much full.
Rents are also on the rise, increasing in the range of 10 to 20 per cent over the past year, with two-bedroom houses and three-bedroom units reporting annual growth in the weekly median rent of $50.
Mackay has the tightest rental vacancy rate in Queensland at 0.9 per cent.
REIQ chief executive Antonia Mercorella said the strength of the regional economy and the employment market were driving the increase in demand for rentals.
About 3900 new job opportunities were created in Mackay in the year to August — putting downward pressure on the jobless rate, which is now just 3.3 per cent.
“As the state’s economy improves and the jobs market in regional Queensland strengthens, we are seeing people returning to those areas and are looking first for rental accommodation,” Ms Mercorella said.
“Markets such as Mackay, Toowoomba and Bundaberg, which are tight, are stabilising after a period of correction.”
REIQ chief executive Antonia Mercorella.
The report found rental markets in the largest regional centres continued strengthening during the quarter as median rents trended upwards, particularly in Mackay, Rockhampton and Toowoomba.
Rockhampton’s rental market moved into the tight range for the first time in six years, as vacancies shrank from 3 per cent in June to 2.3 per cent in September.
The Fraser Coast and Cairns markets are the tightest coastal rental markets in Queensland with regional vacancies of 1.4 per cent.
Steady rents are boosting the rental market on the Fraser Coast, with well-priced rental properties snaring a tenant in less than a week on average.
The report found only two of the major regional markets in the state — Gladstone and Townsville — were weak, with vacancies above 3.5 per cent but below 4.5 per cent.
Overall, the state’s rental market strengthened again in the September quarter, with 27 markets classified as tight by the REIQ, four as healthy and four as weak.
The greater Brisbane rental market held steady at 2.2 per cent, but the local government area of Redland reported one of the region’s tightest vacancies of 1.5 per cent.
The Brisbane LGA rental vacancy rate has tightened to 2 per cent. Image: AAP/Darren England.
The Brisbane LGA tightened to 2 per cent, with vacancies for both the inner and middle ring falling to the tight range during the September quarter.
“Even though this market has tightened to 2 per cent vacancies, we are hearing that pockets of the inner city are oversupplied and tenants are still negotiating well on terms,” Ms Mercorella said.
She said the state’s increasing population growth would require more rental supply.