No vacancy? common sign at Emerald

EMERALD is bursting at the coal seams.

The town, with an economy surging on the back of a boom- ing coal mining industry, almost put up a no-vacancy sign yesterday with virtually no rental properties available and motels running close to capacity.

There are similar stories across the region with Rock- hampton recording a rent vacancy rate of just 2% in June but at least three of the city's leading property managers reported rates of close to 1%last week.

CD Adams and Co (Emerald) rental manager Misti Hayes said yesterday they had a "zero'' vacancy rate with all 500 of their houses and units occupied.

The intense demand is also pushing weekly rents to record levels ? and attracting property investors to the area.

"They (landlords) are getting great returns,'' Ms Hayes said. "You are flat out finding a three bedroom house to rent un- der $300 a week.''

Official figures from June show Emerald ($280) among the most expensive places in the state to rent a three-bedroom house with only a few suburbs in Brisbane (up to $330) and Gold Coast (up to $330) exceeding that.

Ms Hayes said they were getting between 10 and 20 rental en- quiries daily and had five applicants signed up for immediate occupation when a property became available.

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