RENT POWER MOVES TO LAND­LORDS

Rocky Re­gion’s low-rent hon­ey­moon fi­nally end­ing for ten­ants as Adani fac­tor hits and agent re­ports va­cancy rate tight­en­ing to un­der 2%

The Morning Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - Shayla Bul­loch Shayla.Bul­loch@cap­news.com.au

❝re­ward There will no doubt be for land­lords just as there will be re­wards for the wider busi­ness com­mu­nity.

ROCK­HAMP­TON’S rental mar­ket suf­fered in a year of eco­nomic strug­gles but the pen­du­lum has fi­nally shifted.

A low in­ter­est rate en­vi­ron­ment and added de­mand gen­er­ated by Adani’s FIFO base an­nounce­ment have va­cancy rates plum­met­ing.

LJ Hooker Rock­hamp­ton’s head of prop­erty man­age­ment Tara Mlade­n­ovic said the agency’s rental pool was con­tin­u­ally tight­en­ing.

“We had a va­cancy rate of 3.6 per cent in July, which tight­ened again to 3.06 per cent in Au­gust,” she said.

LJ Hooker was cur­rently sit­ting at a stag­ger­ing 1.77 per cent rate for Oc­to­ber.

In the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Queens­land’s quar­terly re­port for June, Rock­hamp­ton was one of the high­est in the state at more than 7 per cent.

Her­ron Todd White re­ported the av­er­age rate for Rock­hamp­ton had de­clined by 2 per cent since June and was now around 4 per cent.

In their month in re­view for Novem­ber, Gracemere fol­lowed a sim­i­lar path, now re­port­ing a lower over­all va­cancy rate than Rock­hamp­ton, sit­ting in the low 4 per cent range.

Ms Mlade­n­ovic said the dra­matic de­cline would only con­tinue, ben­e­fit­ing land­lords and in­vestors com­ing to the re­gion against a back­drop of price growth in the south­east.

“There will no doubt be re­ward for land­lords (from the FIFO con­tracts), just as there will be re­wards for the wider busi­ness com­mu­nity through the eco­nomic boost of em­ploy­ment,” she said.

Her­ron Todd White also re­ported con­sis­ten­cies in ten­ants seek­ing out more mod­ern and well-main­tained prop­er­ties.

Ms Mlade­n­ovic said in­quiries were com­ing for the spec­trum of rental prop­er­ties.

“Savvy land­lords are ask­ing us what they can do to their prop­erty to make it more ap­peal­ing to ten­ants, be­yond a com­pet­i­tive rental price,” she said.

De­spite the ex­pected growth Ms Mlade­n­ovic urged land­lords to be strate­gic when set­ting their ask­ing rental prices.

“As we’ve seen, the va­cancy rate can be fickle, and land­lords need to be strate­gic when re­view­ing their next rental lease. Ex­pect­ing too much could jeop­ar­dise a reg­u­lar, healthy in­come stream,” she said.

Pat O’Dri­coll Real Es­tate’s busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager Re­becca Trott said in­vestor in­ter­est in Rocky was ob­vi­ous.

“Even the week­end that it (FIFO hub) was an­nounced we had around four peo­ple still un­de­cided on whether to in­vest,” she said.

“But as soon as it was an­nounced, they all just flooded in.”

Ms Trott said con­tracts were be­ing signed all over Rocky. She said in­vestors were lis­ten­ing to the de­mand and hold­ing on in­stead of sell­ing.

“The rental mar­ket for Rocky points di­rectly to growth,” she said.

PHOTO: LJ HOOKER

RENT PUSH: LJ Hooker Rock­hamp­ton’s head of prop­erty man­age­ment Tara Mlade­n­ovic.

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