The Gold Coast Bulletin

Tenants hit by huge rent hikes amid record low vacancies


LANDLORDS are demanding huge rent hikes of up to 40 per cent across the Gold Coast and northern NSW while tenants fear being left homeless as vacancies remain at an all-time low.

The asking rent for houses soared by 32 per cent for houses, and 14 per cent for units in the Gold Coast region over the year, according to data by SQM Research.

For suburbs south of Burleigh Heads, rents were up a staggering 40 per cent and about 8 per cent for units since last year.

The northern suburbs were up 28 per cent for houses and 11 per cent for units.

The average rent for a house on the Gold Coast was $744.50 a week, up 10.1 per cent from last quarter. For units, rent averaged $515 a week, compared with $449 a year ago.

Meanwhile, rental vacancies on the Coast remained at an extremely low 0.8 per cent in April after hitting 0.7 per cent in December 2020, from a spike of 5 per cent at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020.

SQM Research managing director Louis Christophe­r said migration from capital cities post-COVID, coupled with the predominan­ce of owner-occupiers in the booming property market, were factors behind the spike in rents.

“We are seeing a surge in rents as vacancies drop on the Gold Coast and on the NSW North Coast which included Ballina and Byron Bay as people migrate out of the big capital cities and move to regional and warmer locations,” Mr Christophe­r said.

“The shift upwards in rent from January to April of this year has been phenomenal.

“It is really scary for tenants, and rents will rise again while the vacancy rate remains super tight.”

Accelerate­d land release by Gold Coast City Council to facilitate new housing developmen­t along the region’s western fringe was required to alleviate the crisis, Mr Christophe­r said.

“Landlords would not be able to do this unless tenants were paying, and right now demand for rental property on the Gold Coast is astronomic­al,” he said.

“Developmen­t activity has truly fallen behind demand.”

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