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Demand for Rental Properties Increases

By Dan Sowden

Demand for rental properties continues to strengthen with vacancy rates tightening across the State, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ).

The REIQ March residential vacancy rates, released this week, show the majority of regions experiencing strong demand from tenants. Vacancy rates in many areas are now below the 3 per cent mark. A vacancy rate of 3 per cent is generally considered to be the equilibrium point of supply and demand.

REIQ CEO Anton Kardash said the tightening rental market was a result of the slower sales market over the past 12 months in particular.

“Until very recently, we had many potential first home buyers and investors sitting on the sidelines while our market and economy recovered from the natural disasters last year, which has put pressure on our rental market,” Mr Kardash said.

“However, this pent-up demand is now starting to dissipate with the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data showing increasing numbers of investors and first-timers coming back into the market.”

ABS lending finance figures for February showed the number of Queensland investors was up significantly compared to the same period last
year. The data also showed that demand from first-home buyers and owner-occupiers was also starting to increase.

“This more robust level of investor demand is good news for our rental market given more investors means more investment stock for renters
to choose from,” Mr Kardash said.

In Brisbane, the vacancy rate has reduced to 1.7 per cent, from 2.3 per cent in December last year. Brisbane’s inner-city recorded a vacancy rate of 1.4 per cent, down from 1.9 per cent in December.

Business manager, Heidi Davies, directs the Property Management divisions for Ray White Maroochydore, Buderim, Mooloolaba and Mountain Creek.

Ms Davies reports that “Supply levels are remaining limited as tenants stay put, students are settled for the year, and potential first home buyers still opt for a wait-and-see approach. The Sunshine Coast rental market is as competitve as we have ever seen it in recent times.”

The Sunshine Coast collective rental market continues to improve with its vacancy rate falling from 4.9 per cent to 3.1 per cent over the same period.

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