'Decent' rental home over budget

JACQUI McConnell refuses to pay $340 a week to rent a three-bedroom Rockhampton home because "they are just not worth that".

Jacqui and her partner yesterday signed a lease agreement for a two bedroom unit in Duthie Ave after spending the past month looking for a "decent" home within their $260 budget.

She and her partner, who moved from Townsville to be closer to family, yesterday met with The Morning Bulletin to discuss the prices of rent in the Rockhampton Regional Council area.

Latest figures show a 10% increase in the median rent for three-bedroom homes in Rockhampton for the June quarter compared to the same period in 2011. Median rents had risen from $310 a week to $340.

Generally speaking, the rental homes in this price bracket were "tatty and tiles were falling off the wall above the sink," Jacqui said.

She and her partner settled for a "comfortable" two bedroom flat that "felt and looked like a real home".

"We were willing to pay up to $300 a week, nothing more because the quality of the houses here are not acceptable," she said.

"The houses in Townsville are in pretty good repair for the price you pay.

"Many of the homes I looked at as a potential home for us were smelly and were not up to standard."

Member for Keppel Bruce Young said the Rockhampton rent surge was a result of coal, seam and gas infrastructure being pursued in Gladstone.

"The private rental market is up because of the mining boom and is pushing people out of private homes and into public rental houses."

Pat O'Driscoll Real Estate South Rockhampton office manager Rebecca Trott said the local vacancy rate had hovered about 1% for the past nine months.



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