QUEENSLAND’s rental market has softened over the past few months with consecutive lifts in the state’s quarterly residential vacancy rate a promising sign that rental conditions are improving.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) released their residential vacancy rate report for the June 2023 quarter and it revealed that the vacancy rate relaxed in 38 local government areas, held steady in three and tightened in nine over the period.
The REIQ classes rental markets into three categories, tight, healthy, or weak and are classified according to vacancy rates with 0 – 2.5% being tight, 2.6 – 3.5% is healthy and anything above 3.6% is weak.
The state-wide vacancy rate rose to 1.0% for the first time since December 2021 and with movement over the quarter, REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said we are crawling towards healthier rates across most of the state.
However, some areas are still sitting below the state average including Cairns (0.9%), Mackay (0.8%), Townsville (0.9%), Mareeba (0.5%) and the Tablelands (0.4%)
“It was too early to call in the March quarter, which also saw a slight lift, but now with back-to-back, quarter on quarter improvement, we can see some promising green shoots.
“There is still a long way to go for Queensland’s rental market to reach healthy rates, but these results are a step in the right direction with a little more movement and increasing opportunity and choice for renters wanting to get into the market.”
Ms Mercorella said the recent movement is consistent with what real estate agents are reporting, that more rental housing stock is freeing up.
“Necessity is the mother of invention and because people have been unable to find the type of rental property they are looking for, within their budget restraints, in the area they’re looking for, they are thinking outside of the box, adapting, and finding alternative solutions,” she said.
“These alternative arrangements include moving back in with parents where possible, moving in with other tenants in a co-tenancy instead of sole tenancy, and looking for units or townhouses instead of a freestanding home, or casting their net wider by looking at nearby localities with greater supply.”