Principal and property specialist at Locations Estate Agents, Alicia Williams.
Principal and property specialist at Locations Estate Agents, Alicia Williams.

Gladstone rental squeeze ‘set to continue’ in 2021

One of Gladstone’s most experienced real estate agents says Gladstone’s rental squeeze is set to continue in 2021.

Locations Estate Agents principal Alicia Williams on Tuesday responded to the latest rental vacancy statistics from the REIQ.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland’s December figures displayed startling numbers for not only Gladstone, but Central Queensland as a whole.

They showed that of the total number of rental properties in the Gladstone region, just one per cent were available or vacant.

In other local government areas in December, Rockhampton registered a 0.2 per cent rental vacancy rate, Banana 0.5 per cent, and the Central Highlands one per cent.

Ms Williams said at one per cent in Gladstone, the market had evidently tightened.

“That is welcome news for landlords who have experienced tough times while the market was in a turndown stage,” Ms Williams said.

“But in the last year, 18 months, we have been thoroughly enjoying a recovery period and getting back to fair market value.

“There was definitely an overcorrection there for a long period of time which saw landlords have to hand keys over to the banks, which is not what we wanted to see happen.

“We are getting back to that equilibrium in the market where we do have different stock and there are some fair prices.”

Ms Williams said looking at the new data, along with data she’d known about for 18 months, it looked like renters could be in for a shock.

“It appears the data is showing a projection of a continued trend,” she said.

“That means further increase in rental prices and further tightening in the market.”

Ms Williams said the growing interest in emerging industries should not affect the Gladstone rental environment.

“Even with the emerging industries such as hydrogen, we are not expecting anything silly to happen with that,” she said.

“There are still workers’ camps available for FIFO and shutdown type work which comes to town.

“So at least we have that extended capacity beyond the existing residential market to cope with a larger influx, if it happens.”