Rental scene heats up as sales flatten

OPINION: A change of season appears to have coincided with a change in market conditions.

As the weather heated up in September, so too did the Gladstone rental market.

Local real estate agents reported a record number of lettings during the third quarter of 2014 - a trend that appeared to be continuing toward Christmas.

Vacancy rates across the Gladstone region have fallen to under 5%, with New Home Vacancies approaching less than 1%.

Sales volumes remained weak from July to October, with the suburb of Toolooa recording no sales whatsoever.

Barney Point also appeared slow, recording one transaction over the three months.

Despite the reduced number of sales, prices in the housing sector seem to have stabilised.

The Gladstone sales market is closely linked the rental market.

As rental vacancy tightens, upward pressure on rents is bound to occur.

This flows thought to house prices. As the cost of rent increases, many tenants take the option to purchase.

This in turn creates competition in the housing market, leading to growth in house prices.

From our experience, this process usually takes about 12 months to take effect.

Andrew Allen is the director and principal at Ray White Gladstone