Queensland residential vacancy rates for 2016/2017.
Queensland residential vacancy rates for 2016/2017. Contributed

CQ's rental vacancy market showing signs of recovery

THE worst is behind us.

That is the opinion of several experts when it comes to CQ's rental vacancy market which is rebounding strongly in the wake of the positive Adani FIFO news and several other helpful factors.

The REIQ released its September quarter vacancy rate data credited a general tightening of most rental markets throughout regional Queensland to the creation of employment opportunities to attract workers.

Looking at the CQ region, Rockhampton has gone from a demoralising 7.2 per cent vacancy rate in June down to a healthier 5.5 per cent according to the latest REIQ September quarter statistics.

Livingstone has performed even better with high 9.3 per cent vacancy rate in June dropping to 5.6 per cent in September.

During this time, Gladstone dropped from 6.5 per cent to 5.7 per cent and Mackay was a star performer almost halving from 4.5 per cent in June to 2.8 in September.

Even on the back of this improved performance, Rockhampton, Livingstone and Gladstone are the bottom three performing areas in the state.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said these regional markets were showing the green shoots of recovery and there is reason to be optimistic about the future of the property market in regional Queensland.

"We are hoping to soon see signs that Rockhampton's market is stabilising. It is encouraging to see vacancies falling and local agents reporting improving levels of demand for rental properties,” Ms Mercorella said.

"The good news is that in one quarter, Livingstone has fallen from 9.3 per cent to 5.6 per cent, which is a remarkable improvement.”

"This market has shown the single biggest improvement this quarter of all the markets we monitor and there is a clearly established positive trend of four quarterly falls.

She was hopeful that the sales market will soon echo the rental market's positive direction.

Speaking to several CQ real estate agents, they were all upbeat about the prospects for the region now the worst seemed to be behind us.

Pat O'Driscoll Real Estate business development Manager Rebecca Trott said they were happy with improvement in occupancy rates in the rental market over the past 12 months, and most significantly, the past three months.

"We're hearing a lot of good news stories with tenants moving into the Rockhampton area to be closer to family or moving back to the area, and we're finding a trend of tenants moving into town for employment opportunities, which is promising as we have seen so many reports of people moving out of the area for employment over the past 12 months,” Ms Trott said.

"The improvements being made over the past 12 months are a great draw card for the Rockhampton area. It's the diversity of the area.

"We've got the private and public schooling, university, shopping centres, and government based tourism amongst many other projects in development stages which will keep things moving in our area.”

Although Ms Trott wasn't anticipating an immediate increase in activity within the rental market due to the Adani announcement it had put some confidence back into the sales market a number of contracts being signed by investors recently.

"As employment starts to ramp up we will definitely start to see an effect on availability of rentals,” she said.



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