Fall in rental va­can­cies ‘a pos­i­tive sign’

Central Queensland News - - NEWS -

LAST year, some Emer­ald rental homes were va­cant for up to six months af­ter tenants moved out.

But the mar­ket is im­prov­ing as jobs, and con­fi­dence, re­turn to the Cen­tral Highlands.

Real es­tate agent Wendy Thorn­berry (pic­tured) said new tenants were usu­ally ready to move into newly va­cated houses al­most im­me­di­ately.

The prin­ci­pal of El­ders Emer­ald, Ms Thorn­berry has been in the real es­tate game for 15 years and has seen plenty of ups and downs in the re­gion, which is usu­ally at the mercy of min­ing busts and booms.

She said her ex­pe­ri­ences on the ground in Emer­ald over the last few months were mir­ror­ing the lat­est REIQ fig­ures which showed va­cancy rates had dropped dra­mat­i­cally in a year.

In the De­cem­ber 2016 quar­ter, va­cancy rates for the lo­cal gov­ern­ment area were sit­ting at 10 per cent.

By De­cem­ber 2017, va­cancy rates for the quar­ter were down to 4.2 per cent.

“There’s a lot more pos­i­tiv­ity around and peo­ple are com­ing into town,” Ms Thorn­berry said.

“From all ac­counts it looks like it will con­tinue with solid rent­ing.

“I think sup­ply and de­mand is start­ing to catch up with each other and lev­el­ling out.”

In Rock­hamp­ton, rates have re­mained fairly sta­ble (from 4.3 per cent in De­cem­ber 2016 quar­ter to 5 per cent in De­cem­ber 2017).

In the March quar­ter, how­ever, va­cancy rates hit 8.6 per cent, in­di­cat­ing some fluc­tu­a­tion over the year in the rental mar­ket.

Rental Te­nan­cies Au­thor­ity fig­ures re­leased last month also showed prices were on the way up across much of Cen­tral Queens­land.

While the av­er­age three-bed­room rental in Rock­hamp­ton dropped from $280 a week to $270 between De­cem­ber 2016 and De­cem­ber 2017, in other ar­eas prices lifted by close to 10 per cent.

Cler­mont saw its av­er­age three-bed­room house price rise from $220 to $240, Mo­ran­bah went from $210 to $220, Emer­ald rose $20 to $240 and Black­wa­ter went up from $185 to $190.

Liv­ing­stone’s ten­ancy rates have also tight­ened over the year, al­most halv­ing from 10 per cent in the De­cem­ber quar­ter 2016 to 5.7 per cent in De­cem­ber 2017.

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