Rental re­port shows op­ti­mistic in­di­ca­tors

Whitsunday Times - - REAL ESTATE | REIQ - Con­sumer tips pro­vided by REIQ

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.

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