Housing more affordable as rents plunge in Gladstone

ELATED: Gladstone resident Ellie Mooney is delighted that tenants have more money back in their pockets due to rents decreasing.
ELATED: Gladstone resident Ellie Mooney is delighted that tenants have more money back in their pockets due to rents decreasing. Brenda Strong GLARENT

IT'S happy days for Gladstone tenants as rental prices begin to plummet in the region, leaving renters with extra money in their pockets.

As leases come to their end, tenants are finding lower offers for lease renewal.

Gladstone Ray White principal Andrew Allen said the fall in rental prices had a huge impact on families that were renting.

"It makes housing more affordable," he said.

"Units and apartments appear to be the sector with the highest reduction in average rents."

He said this was mainly due to the large increase in supply and the evaporating corporate tenant market.

Citing an example, Mr Allen said rent for an established three-bedroom older-style home had dropped from $550 a week to $470 a week.

"Falls have been highest at the top end of the market."

Mr Allen hoped that this would mean more families would decide to move permanently to the Gladstone area.

"Instead of working here on fly-in-fly-out basis."

But while tenants gain, property owners lose out.

"Many property investors are now not experiencing the rental returns that they had hoped for," Mr Allen said.

CQUniversity centre for environmental management Dr Delwar Akbar has done previous research of the local property market.

He said in 2011-12 they had predicted the peak development growth to occur in the middle of 2013.

While this time has passed, he said it was normal for rental prices to decrease, as they were doing, and could decrease further until the beginning of 2015.

"Then it can slightly increase and would stabilise until 2018," he said.

While rental returns take a plunge for home owners in Gladstone, new figures show Queensland leading the way in house sales.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said Housing Industry Association figures released this week showed new home sales in Queensland in July were up 12.6%, despite a fall of 4.7% nationally.

"This is a very positive sign for the Queensland economy," Mr Nicholls said.