Rental va­can­cies de­crease as lo­cal in­dustries im­prove

Central Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - Zhanae Con­way-Dodd Zhanae.Con­way-Dodd@cap­

RENTAL prop­er­ties are in high de­mand in Biloela with an un­prece­dented low rental va­cancy rate of 2.5 per cent due to the boost in em­ploy­ment by ma­jor lo­cal in­dustries.

This mar­ket lift comes off the back of the re­cent slump in real es­tate val­ues in the Cal­lide Val­ley area due to tough times for busi­ness, span­ning across the past four years.

The rapid change which has the mar­ket head­ing for re­cov­ery has taken lo­cal real es­tate agents by sur­prise.

Head of depart­ment of prop­erty man­age­ment at Biloela First Na­tional Real Es­tate, Kar­men Wieden, said in Jan­uary they had 80 prop­er­ties listed for rent which has dra­mat­i­cally de­creased.

“Now we have a very short list of around 20 houses,” Mrs Wieden said.

“Em­ploy­ment has changed in town which is great for the com­mu­nity be­cause just like ev­ery lit­tle coun­try town we were strug­gling quite a bit, re­tail­ers were wind­ing down and peo­ple were a bit scared of what was go­ing to hap­pen.”

Mrs Wieden said in­dus­try, in­clud­ing min­ing, had moved for­ward in town which in turn had brought com­pa­nies of all sizes to the area.

Ear­lier this year Batch­fire Cal­lide Pty Ltd was granted an ex­ten­sion for their min­ing lease on Bound­ary Hill mine, ex­tend­ing the life of the op­er­a­tion to 2043 and keep­ing 600 work­ers in the lo­cal area.

Mrs Wieden said even though min­ing was a large part of the Biloela com­mu­nity it was not the only part with sev­eral in­dustries keep­ing the town afloat.

“The power sta­tion, the ni­trate plant and the meat works are still bring­ing peo­ple into town as well,” Mrs Wieden said.

“That is one of the ben­e­fits of Biloela, that we are di­verse in the in­dustries that are around us.

“Those other in­dustries ebb and flow but not as dra­mat­i­cally as some­where like Glad­stone.

“So the pros and the cons of that is we don’t see the ex­tremely high rents but when we do go back to lower rents, it tends to be a steady re­set­tling whereas Glad­stone tends to shoot up quickly and drop just as quickly.”

As a re­sult of im­proved con­fi­dence in the area and low rental va­can­cies, peo­ple are also look­ing to buy and in­vest in the lo­cal prop­erty mar­ket.

“Rents for the first time in a long time are go­ing up and as rent goes up peo­ple will start mak­ing a de­ci­sion to in­vest and pur­chase given the af­ford­abil­ity and qual­ity of homes for sale,” Mrs Wieden said.

“Peo­ple are com­ing to town, set­tling into the com­mu­nity and en­rolling their kids in school so we are start­ing to see more in­ter­est in pur­chas­ing.

“It will take a lit­tle bit to get that mo­men­tum go­ing again but we are def­i­nitely see­ing that re­newed in­ter­est and more en­quiry.”

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