Noel Livingston from Professionals Real Estate.
Noel Livingston from Professionals Real Estate. Janie Kayes

Rental vacancy rates are a 'positive sign' for future of region

ROCKHAMPTON'S rental vacancy rate of 4.6% has Noel Livingston smiling and feeling very confident for the future of the region.

According to REIQ figures, Rockhampton's vacancy rate of 4.6% has decreased from the previous figures of up to 7% more than 12 months ago, which is an encouraging sign for the local rental market.

Noel, Principal of Professionals Real Estate and local area zone chairman for REIQ, said the new figures from the latest report is an improvement and were not surprising.

"We've noticed an improvement in the local sales market so it's not surprising to see improvement in the rental market as well," he said.

"We peaked 12 months ago with figures just over 7% so it's been up and down over the last year but this is the most market improvement we've seen in the last 18 months which is really positive. It's a good sign and there's good signs in the Livingstone market too.

"Slowly but surely both markets are looking up."

But for Noel, the real confidence boost would be to see rental vacancy rates back in the 1-2% range which were the figures the market witnessed back in 2013.

In March 2013, the rental vacancy rate was 2.7%.

"For many, many years we operated on 1-2% vacancy rates for rentals here but with the slowdown in the mining sector and other economical impacts we haven't seen numbers like that for a while," Noel said.

"We were just a model of consistency so hopefully we can get back to where we were. We're starting to see improvement employment wise in the mining industry and the local job market, we're also seeing an increase in the rural economy and other sectors such as infrastructure, health and education so as long as we can keep that momentum moving forward in those areas we have every reason to feel confident."



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