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QLD Rental market normalises after disasters



Queensland Rental Market 2011After the temporary surge in demand for rental properties following the natural disasters at the start of this year, Queensland’s rental market has returned to a more even keel.

The latest REIQ residential rental survey conducted at the end of June has shown vacancy rates across most of the state returning to more normal levels following the natural disasters and peak rental demand of earlier this year.

While there was a spike in demand for rental property earlier this year as both displaced owner-occupiers and renters tried to find alternate accommodation after the floods and cyclone, the latest vacancy rates show that six months on our rental market is starting to return to a more balanced level of supply and demand in most areas. However, demand is outweighing supply in resource-rich areas.

In Brisbane City, vacancy rates across the local government area (LGA) have eased to 2.1 per cent however this easing in rental demand occurred in the middle to outer-ring suburbs alone.

Agents in the inner Brisbane suburbs report units are letting much more quickly, with young professionals in particular willing to pay higher rents for inner city living and modern accommodation.

Flood-affected properties are coming back onto the market with a number achieving higher asking rents, due to the improvements carried out on the property.

Similar to the Brisbane metropolitan area, the LGAs surrounding Brisbane all recorded easing vacancy rates, with Moreton Bay the exception, thanks to a tighter rental market in Redcliffe. In the Pine Rivers area, vacancy rates are also tight at 2.5 per cent, however many agents report an oversupply of stock due to new developments in the area.

A number of regional areas however continue to experience extremely tight rental conditions as the influx of residents who have obtained work in the resources sector places increasing pressure on the supply of rental properties. This is being reflected in the Residential Tenancies Authority’s (RTA) latest median rents, with the highest increases in median rents occurring in areas such as Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton and other smaller regional areas like Central Highlands, Isaac and Banana.