PROPERTY MARKET IMPROVES
Rental vacancies decrease as local industries improve
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.”