When one thing prospers, the other can sometimes wane. And in Queensland the residential sales and rental market are doing just that at present.
While the sales market returns to healthy levels of activity after a long period of subdued volumes, the residential rental market conversely is seeing easing vacancy rates after a long period of tight rental conditions.
The REIQ’s latest residential rental survey, carried out in December across all REIQ accredited agencies, has found that the majority of the State recorded higher vacancy rates compared to the three months before.
Over a third of REIQ member agencies reported an increase in investor activity, subsequently adding to the rental pool. In addition to this, the end of the year is historically a period of lower tenant demand with many vacating over the Christmas and New Year periods, usually in a move to another area for either work or educational reasons.
In the Brisbane City local government area, the vacancy rate as at the end of December was 3.2 per cent, up from 2.3 per cent at the end of September. A vacancy rate of around 3 per cent however is deemed to represent healthy levels of supply and demand.
Across Brisbane the results are varied. Inner Brisbane, suburbs within 5km of the CBD, recorded the highest increase, up 1.7 percentage points to 4.1 per cent.
Local agents report an oversupply of rental properties, with a number of new developments coming onto the market, coupled with lower tenant demand as residents vacate for work transfers, typical for this time of year.
For Brisbane suburbs beyond 5km, the vacancy rate eased just 0.6 percentage points to 2.8 per cent. Local agents report higher than usual vacancies for this time of year as tenants are either relocating for work or purchasing their own property.
For the surrounding Brisbane local government areas, rental markets still remain tight despite a slight easing in vacancy rates. All areas recorded vacancy rates under 2.5 per cent, with Redland City the only area to record an increase of more than 1 percentage points in its vacancy rate.
In regional Queensland, markets continue to ease substantially in mining regions, with Mackay, Rockhampton and Gladstone’s vacancy rates blowing out to around 7 per cent. Toowoomba continues to post tight rental conditions with a vacancy rate of 1.3 per cent at the end of 2013.
The outlook for the rental market in Queensland however remains positive as business returns to normal now that the Christmas holidays have passed.