Ray White Gladstone brothers, John and Jamie Fieldus, set up for the first 3D photo shoot at one of the company's rental properties.
Ray White Gladstone brothers, John and Jamie Fieldus, set up for the first 3D photo shoot at one of the company's rental properties.

Rental crisis tipped for Gladstone as demand surges

GLADSTONE could be heading for a rental crisis with vacancy rates of less than 1 per cent, according to two property experts.

They say a severe rental shortage could lead to some tenants being forced out on the streets.

A steep decline in dwelling construction since 2017 and less investor activity is seeing rapidly increasing competition for properties, says Terry Ryder from hotspotting.com.au and Propertyology’s Simon Pressley.

Mr Ryder said the shortage of rentals in Gladstone and other parts of Australia was dire.

“We have available properties attracting queues of applicants – typically between 40 or 50 parties can be applying for the same property,” he said.

Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley.
Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley.

“In that situation, it’s not uncommon for tenants to make offers well above the asking rent or to offer payment of three or six months upfront in order to secure a home in the face of intense competition.

“A vacancy rate below 1 per cent represents a dire shortage and in many parts of Australia, this is the reality right now.

“Over recent years we’ve seen a high volume of tenants leave the major cities for more affordable lifestyles in regional areas and that has meant that Australia’s two biggest cities of Sydney and Melbourne have high vacancies, but elsewhere there are chronic shortages.”

This issue was highlighted last week by REIQ Gladstone president and Locations Estate Agents director Alicia Williams and Ray White Gladstone co-director John Fieldus.

“There has been a few times our agency, Locations, has seen a vacancy rate of zero per cent vacancy and at the moment it is sitting below one per cent,” Ms Williams said.

“The days on market available for rental vacancies are very, very low.

“It is probably between five and 10 days to allow for cleaning and other things to be done.”

Last month Mr Fieldus said they had 142 applications for 42 properties to rent, but turnover had slowed due to COVID.

“Our vacancy rate for the entire of this year has not been over one per cent,” he said.

“At one per cent, the industry sees that as a critical shortage.”

Mr Pressley published a rental report six months ago which examined 50 major cities and towns across Australia.

Cleighton Clark and Terry Ryder discuss the Sunshine Coast real estate market.
Cleighton Clark and Terry Ryder discuss the Sunshine Coast real estate market.

“The data we ascertained from that exercise very clearly indicated out of the 50 towns we analysed, only four (Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Geelong) had a vacancy rate above 3 per cent,” he said.

“It’s a very real crisis, there is an enormous rental housing under-supply.

“There’s a real opportunity here for government to implement investment policies that will inspire people to buy or build rental properties.

“That sort of progressive thinking is a win-win situation as it will boost the nation’s economic recovery post-COVID but will also alleviate the current pressure on the rental market.

“Provided you do your research into the right location, you will achieve a premium rental return in the current climate and with property prices on the rise again, you’ll benefit from your purchase in the long-term also.”

Rental market snapshot:

Queensland:

Gladstone: less than one per-cent.

Rockhampton: Four key postcodes have vacancies below zero and 0.4%.

Sunshine Coast: Most of the postcodes covering the Sunshine Coast region are well below 1%; many are 0.5% or lower.

Mackay: Four key postcodes are all well below 1%, including one which is at 0.2%.

Toowoomba: One postcode is 0.5%, another is 0.2%.

New South Wales:

Tweed region: postcodes 2485, 2486 and 2487 are all 0.2% or 0.3%.

Byron Bay: 0.4%.

Port Macquarie: 0.2%.

Coffs Harbour: 0.1%.

Central Coast: every postcode has a vacancy rate below 1%, including two which are 0.4%.

Victoria:

Ballarat: The postcodes covering Ballarat are all between 0.4% and 1%.

Bendigo: Of the five main postcodes, one has zero vacancies, three are between 0.3% and 0.5% and the fifth is at 1.5%.

Latrobe Valley: All the towns of the Latrobe Valley have vacancy rates between 0.6% and 0.8%.

Shepparton: Two postcodes, one at 0.6% and the other at 0.1%.

South Australia:

Murray Bridge: 0.2%.

Mount Gambier: 0.4%.

Port Lincoln: 0.5%.

Strathalbyn: 0.1%.

Whyalla: The postcodes covering Whyalla range from 0.4% and 1.2%.

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