SIGNS OF GROWTH AP­PEAR

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHRISTIE AN­DER­SON christie. an­der­son@ news. com. au

TOWNSVILLE’S rental mar­ket is show­ing signs of re­cov­ery with va­cancy rates fall­ing to the low­est lev­els since De­cem­ber 2014.

The lat­est Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Queens­land fig­ures show that as of the end of June, va­cancy rates were 5 per cent.

It fol­lows va­cancy rates spik­ing in Septem­ber 2016 at 7.1 per cent.

John Grib­bin Re­alty prin­ci­pal John Grib­bin said the rental mar­ket was slowly start­ing to turn around.

“There is def­i­nitely signs of im­prove­ment but it’s not go­ing to re­cover overnight,” he said.

“We still need a lot of peo­ple to come back to Townsville be­cause a lot of peo­ple ac­tu­ally left and that’s been part of the prob­lem.

“We’re find­ing places like An­nan­dale, Dou­glas and Idalia rent well and just gen­er­ally sub­urbs that have houses that present well will al­ways move, but the pe­riph­eral ar­eas are a bit tougher.”

Re­search com­mis­sioned by TP Hu­man Cap­i­tal and com­pleted by re­gional econ­o­mist Colin Dy­wer shows there has been a surge in de­mand for De­cem­ber 2014 ................ March 2015 ....................... June 2015 .......................... Septem­ber 2015 .............. De­cem­ber 2015 ................ March 2016........................... June 2016.......................... Septem­ber 2016 ............... De­cem­ber 2016 ............... March 2017 ....................... June 2017 ............................. % HOUSE UNIT MOST EX­PEN­SIVE SUB­URB: Cas­tle Hill, per week CHEAP­EST SUB­URB: Heat­ley per week rental prop­er­ties in Townsville in July and there are fewer than 1500 prop­er­ties avail­able.

“We have been col­lect­ing res­i­den­tial va­cancy data from Realestate. com since July 8 and there has been a drop of 180 prop­er­ties ad­ver­tised; that’s an 11 per cent ab­sorp­tion in just over three weeks,” Mr Dwyer said. “Some of the ab­sorp­tion will be south­ern­ers tak­ing up short term rentals to en­joy Townsville’s cli­mate but with all the cur­rent and pro- posed project ac­tiv­ity and job cre­ation a large pro­por­tion will be out- of- town­ers tak­ing up jobs.

“As the NQ sta­dium project com­mences there is likely to be ac­cel­er­a­tion in de­mand for homes close to these projects.”

De­spite an im­prove­ment in va­cancy rates Townsville’s rental mar­ket is still clas­si­fied by REIQ as be­ing weak. In a state­ment, the REIQ said that the Gov­ern­ment’s fo­cus on jobs and ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture projects was start­ing to gain trac­tion.

TP Hu­man Cap­i­tal man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Clay­ton Cook said an in­crease in em­ploy­ment was likely to help im­prove Townsville’s rental mar­ket.

“We have no­ticed a change in the Townsville jobs mar­ket re­cently, with a mod­er­ate to strong up­swing in de­mand for con­struc­tion work­ers, health and so­cial as­sis­tance work­ers ( NDIS), ad­min­is­tra­tion jobs and ed­u­ca­tion po­si­tions,” he said.

“There is ev­i­dence of skill short­ages in some oc­cu­pa­tions such as labour­ers, rig­gers and hair­dressers.

“If the jobs can’t be filled lo­cally then peo­ple from else­where will be re­cruited.

“This mi­gra­tion will im­pact the prop­erty mar­ket in a va­ri­ety of ways; one im­pact is likely to be in­creased de­mand for rental prop­er­ties.”

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