Pat O'Driscoll Property manager Wendy Mylrea outside Krystal Newton's home after helping her find a place following three months in a women's shelter.
Pat O'Driscoll Property manager Wendy Mylrea outside Krystal Newton's home after helping her find a place following three months in a women's shelter. Chris Ison

Agents battle with housing demand

FORCED to live in a women’s shelter with her two young children for three months, Krystal Newton knows all too well about the rental housing squeeze in Rockhampton.

“I had to lower my work hours to find time to actually find a home which then lessened my income, and so the real estates didn’t want to take me on because they thought I wouldn’t be able to make the rental payments,” Ms Newton said.

The latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland statistics reflect why people like Ms Netwton are struggling to find rental accommodation.

Its residential rental survey reveals the vacancy rate in the Rockhampton region is at a low 1.8%.

“So it was definitely a real struggle just to find somewhere for myself and my two children to live,” Ms Newton said.

“I’m just lucky that Pat O’Driscoll (Real Estate) finally gave me a trial after so long without a home, and the kids and I are a lot more settled now that we finally have a place of our own.”

Pat O’Driscoll Real Estate property management department manager, Rebecca Trott, said there were about 25 people on their waiting list for a rental property.

“As of last week we are at 1.75% with 10 houses and three units making that up, but there are many more people inquiring about properties that haven’t been suited to a rental property yet,” she said.

Rebecca said the highest rentals in Rockhampton at the moment were fetching about $600 per week with the average $300 to $400 per week.

Captain Meaghan Gallagher of the Salvation Army said he welcomed inquiries.

“There’s also been the rising living standards, so it’s not just the floods that have been a problem this year,” he said.

“We’ve got people who have been displaced, and if there are people out there who need help I would encourage them to call us.”



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