Rental report shows optimistic indicators
THE REIQ Rental Report has revealed there is cause for optimism in some parts of regional Queensland, including the Whitsundays, based on figures for the December quarter of 2015.
Last year was patchy for Whitsunday, starting 2015 with a vacancy rate of 13.5%, but things steadily improved to end the year on 9.5%.
REIQ chief executive officer Antonia Mercorella said the resources downturn was still being felt in central and north Queensland towns and would likely continue for the foreseeable future.
“Economically speaking, this is going to be a long period of adjustment,” she said.
“The lower Aussie dollar should help lift tourism figures and Whitsunday is well-positioned to benefit from that activity, with its long history of international backpackers finding their way to Australia through the gateway of Whitsunday and the islands.”
Townsville’s vacancy rate eased slightly, from 5.6% to 6.4%.
“Townsville is in a fortunate position that it has a strong Defence Force presence and this will help stabilise the city,” Ms Mercorella said.
“Like everywhere else, property demand is driven by employment and, unfortunately, unemployment has risen recently in Townsville.”
To the south, Mackay continued to hold stea- dy at about 9% for the fifth consecutive quarter.
“Even though 9.3% is higher than we’d like and is classified as a weak market, the good news here is that it has stopped trending down, which means the bottom has been met and the market is in a stabilisation phase,” Ms Mercorella said.
“Mackay has secondary industries such as sugar, tourism and education to help return economic stability to the region and it is only a matter of time before things improve.”
The inner Brisbane vacancy rate reached 3.8%, up from 3.4% in the September quarter.
In contrast, the more affordable middle ring of 5–20km tightened as inner-city residents moved slightly further out to more affordable dwellings, going from 2.4% to 2.1%.
The Gold Coast vacancy rate fell to its lowest on record, at just 1.1%. However, the tightest rental market in Queensland is the Noosa market, with just 0.7% vacancy rate.
The Sunshine Coast held steady at 1.3% and Caloundra relinquished its low vacancy rate of just 0.9% last quarter to ease towards 1.7%.
Bundaberg tightened from 4.6% to 3.9%, Gladstone eased from 7.1% to 10% and Rockhampton nudged higher from 4.5% to 6.1%.
Cairns continues to be the standout performer outside of the south-east, with a slight tightening of the vacancy rate that edged it from a healthy 2.6% to a tight market at 2.5%.
The REIQ market classifications are: 0–2.5% is tight, 2.6–3.5% is healthy and 3.6%plus is weak.