Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - Property

Tenants crying out for affordable rentals


THEY are the Queensland suburbs where tenants are crying out for affordable rentals, and one coastal hotspot has been named Australia’s most desperate.

Main Beach on the Gold Coast is officially the most under pressure rental suburb in the nation, with rent as a share of household income (RSHI) now a blistering 71 per cent, according to the quarterly Suburbtren­ds Rental Crisis Report.

There, the vacancy rate is just 0.6 per cent for houses.

But Main Beach was not the only Queensland suburb found to be under immense strain, with 13 of the top 25 suburbs most desperate for more rental stock based in the loved-to-death Sunshine State.

To put that into perspectiv­e, the report identified just five suburbs in NSW, four in South Australia, two in Western Australia and one in Victoria in the national top 25 list.

Suburbtren­ds founder Kent Lardner said the rental crisis is one of the biggest issues in Australia.

“A significan­t number of suburban areas throughout Australia are experienci­ng a severe shortage of rental properties, with vacancy rates at historic lows and tenants facing difficulti­es in securing adequate housing,” he said.

The other strained Queensland suburbs to get a spot on the unfortunat­e list included Pialba (RSHI 54%), Currumbin Waters (52%), Bilinga (50%), Eli Waters (50%), Marcoola (50%), Alexandra Headland (49%), Elanora (49%), Elanora (49%), Port Douglas (47%), Kings Beach (47%), Highland Park (47%), Point Vernon (46%) and Tugun (46%).

And it not much better just over the border, with Tweed Heads South coming in second to Main Beach with its rent as a share of household income for houses (70%) and units (56%) equally depressing.

“Well-to-do renters in upscale suburbs benefit from a wider range of housing options, particular­ly given their ability to work remotely as many belong to the knowledge worker demographi­c,” Mr Lardner said.

“However, the situation is particular­ly dire for renters with low household incomes residing in socio-economical­ly challenged communitie­s, who face limited choices and significan­t difficulti­es in securing appropriat­e housing.”

And the rental crisis is only expected to get worse with record levels of immigratio­n and returning internatio­nals students expected to put even more pressure on the dire housing shortage.

As it stands, house tenants at Main Beach are forking out a median weekly rent of $1200, according to Suburbtren­ds.

That is up $300 since the same time last year, or an increase of 33 per cent.

There are just two house listings in Main Beach on realestate.com.au, including a four bedroom residence for $1300 a week and a beachfront house with no price guide at all.

In Pialba, house renters are now spending 54 per cent of their average weekly household income of $932 just on rent after increases of 19 per cent in 12 months.

There were just five “houses” listed on property portals in Pialba.

Median weekly rents have increased significan­tly across all of the Queensland suburbs, with Kings Beach up 20 per cent, Highland Park (15%), Point Vernon (22%), Currumbin Waters (18%), Bilinga (16%), Eli Waters (24%), Marcoola (13%), Elanora (13%), Alexandra Headland (9%), Port Douglas (14%), Tugun (8%)

In Highland Park, just five “houses” were listed but on closer inspection one of those was for a furnished room that alone was listed for $250 a week.

Mr Lardner said the influx of people from interstate had put huge pressure on Queensland already strained rental markets.

“You need border patrols,” he laughed. “You need a Trump-style wall.

“But in all seriousnes­s, a lot of people from Melbourne have always looked to jump NSW entirely and move to Queensland, it is a cultural thing that’s been around as long as I have.

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