Rental investors have cause for optimism
GLADSTONE rental investors have cause for optimism with a slight tightening of the market in the September quarter.
This follows the news that Rockhampton's market has moved into the "tight'' range for the first time in six years.
Markets throughout Queensland's larger regional centres continued to strengthen this quarter as median rents followed an upward trend, particularly in Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton and Toowoomba.
Mackay has become the tightest rental market in Queensland. Vacancies there tightened to 0.9 per cent over the September quarter.
Only two of the major regional markets in Queensland, Gladstone and Townsville, remained weak with vacancies above 3.5 per cent but below 4.5 per cent.
However, Gladstone vacancies have shown signs of improvement, tightening slightly from 4.2 per cent in June to 4.1 per cent in September.
Real Estate Institute of Qld CEO Antonia Marcorella said it was great to see some data on Gladstone that agrees with the anecdotal evidence they've been receiving.
"We are hearing that confidence has returned to this market and while we haven't yet seen it in the sales market data, the rental market is showing signs of life with rents trending upwards," Ms Marcorella said.
"As the state's economy improves and the jobs market in regional Queensland strengthens, people are returning to those areas and looking first for rental accommodation.
"However, investors are facing the twin threats of tightened lending criteria and uncertainty around negative gearing provisions should a federal Labor Government win the next election."
Further data revealed median rents for all type of dwellings have trended upwards for the past year, with median rents for three-bedroom and four-bedroom houses increasing $30 a week over the past year.
On a percentage basis, the median rent for one-bedroom units increased the largest percentage - 13 per cent for the past year.
In Rockhampton, vacancies tightened from 3 per cent in the June quarter to 2.3 per cent in September after peaking at 7.2 per cent in the 2017 June quarter.
The Rockhampton rental market absorbed more than 300 net new rental properties in the past year and still delivered growth in the median rent for some types of dwellings.
Ms Marcorella said Rockhampton's rental market had come "roaring back".
"The last time Rockhampton was classed as a tight market Julia Gillard was prime minister," she said.
"We're on our fourth prime minister since then ... it's encouraging to see this market finding its way back to solid ground."