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Sunshine Coast Vacancy Rate Remains Tight

By Brent Higgins

The first quarter of 2013 saw mixed fortunes for rental markets across Queensland, according to the latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) results.

The REIQ March residential rental vacancy rate survey found that while demand remained strong for rental properties in South East Queensland, some key mining areas experienced significant vacancy rate falls.

The results highlight the profound influence resource companies have on some regional rental markets , though most major regions throughout the State had posted a vacancy rate of 2.5% or less. A vacancy rate of 3% is generally considered to be the equilibrium point of supply and demand.

The rental market in the Sunshine Coast region eased to 2.2% however remains at tight levels. Throughout the Sunshine Coast region, vacant properties are attracting between two to five applicants per listing.

“Mackay and Gladstone both recorded significant increases in vacancy rates as at the end of March due to less demand for rental properties from mining companies, and an element of increases in the supply of rental stock,” REIQ CEO Anton Kardash said.

“On the other hand, Toowoomba retained its mantle as one of the tightest rental markets in the State, and Bundaberg also recorded constrained rental conditions due to the floods in their region earlier this year.”

The REIQ March vacancy rate for Bundaberg was 0.8%, down from 2.4% at the end of December. A number of REIQ accredited agents made note of a chronic under supply of the ‘right’ property to meet rental demand.”

“Part of the reason why the market is certainly a case of more demand than supply is that first home buyers are largely remaining on the sidelines of the sales market following the removal of the First Home Owners Grant last year” said Mr Kardash.

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