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Published on July 24th, 2012

QLD rental demand exceeds supply

In many parts of Queensland, rental vacancy remains tight – with demand for properties exceeding supply in some areas of the state.

Demand is particularly strong in resource-rich communities, with many showing vacancy rates below three per cent – a figure widely considered to be the equilibrium point between demand and supply.

New Real Estate Institute of Queensland figures published for the three months ending June 30 reveal that Rockhampton has the sunshine state's tightest rental market, with a vacancy rate of 1.1 per cent.

It is thought that renters with families are particularly drawn to the resource-rich area because of work opportunities – and rents in Rockhampton are more affordably than those in Mackay or Gladstone.

In Mackay, vacancy rates of 1.7 per cent were recorded in June  and property managers here have noticed that residents are beginning to forego the top end of the market for "lower-end" properties – a new trend for the second three months of the year.

Local property managers also report tight vacancy rates of 1.2 per cent in Toowoomba – the second-lowest in the country, the REIQ reports.

Anton Kardash, president of the REIQ, asserted that while the first three months of the year tend to be Queensland's busiest in terms of vacancy rates, demand for rental property has been sustained into the second quarter of the year.

But he anticipated that this could ease somewhat for the rest of 2012, with first homebuyers and investors returning to the market.

He said: "Their activity will take some time to flow through to the rental market, which should ease some of this pressure on supply and rents we are now experiencing," he said.

But lower tenant demand has been experienced in the surrounding mining towns, the REIQ asserted – and the low vacancy rates are not being recorded right across the state.

Tenant vacancy rates on the Sunshine Coast, for example, rose from 3.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year to 3.3 per cent in June, while the Gold Coast vacancy rate increased from 3.9 per cent to four per cent during the same period of time.

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