Rentals may all be gone: Quarterly report shows price jump
RENTAL vacancy rates are at an all-time low at less than two per cent and Adani is expected to turn the screws of the Livingstone real estate market even tighter.
According to REIQ's report on the March quarter, Yeppoon's average weekly rental for three-bedroom houses has jumped to $350, an increase of $30 in the past year.
Pressure on the coast rental market is expected to build as people move to the Rockhampton region to take jobs at the Adani mine.
A snapshot of properties available for rent on the Capricorn Coast showed 79, whereas Rockhampton had a total of 262 properties available for rent.
Looking over his sheet of rental properties, agent Sean Appleton of At The Beach Real Estate - Yeppoon had only three available.
"Usually we would have two pages, meaning there would be 15-20 properties available for rent,” Mr Appleton said.
"But at the moment we only have three available, and two of those are units.
"Once you see vacancy rates under two per cent, that's the sign of your market coming good.”
Mr Appleton said Yeppoon's low vacancy rate of under two per cent was due in part to the number of mines which had opened around Central Queensland.
He expects the vacancy rate to tighten even further, possibly down to 0 per cent, when construction begins on the Adani Carmichael coal mine.
"There will be a big rush,” he said.
"The vacant land and prices will start to move when there are no longer houses for sale.
"When people run out of stock it will then get very quiet.
"I think we will see anywhere up to six to seven years on the lift. I hope it is a long straight run rather than a spike like we got in 2007 when the market crashed.”
Mr Appleton said the big question is where people will stay when there are no houses for sale or rentals available.
According to REIQ, Yeppoon house sales have seen an increase of 1.7 per cent in the past year, with 108 sold for an annual median sale price of $351,000, up $6000 from March 2018.
Mr Appleton said there had certainly been an increase in house sales but believed it would have been a lot higher.
"Compared to sales over the past few years and what I have done over the past 12 months, there has been an increase of 300 to 400 per cent, I would say,” he said.
"In the higher end of the market I have sold four properties over $1.5 million in the last 12 months.
"Three years ago I hadn't sold any properties over $1 million.”
Mr Appleton said there was no doubt that home buyers were showing a renewed confidence.
"Between the election and the mines popping up, I believe we are going to be in for a huge three to four years - hopefully longer,” he said.
He said the annual median sale price of $351,000 seemed "a bit light”.
"I am seeing averages of $450,000 upwards, but we don't have a lot of stock in that lower end of the market,” he said.
"I would love more of them, I just haven't got any. If they are priced right they are gone.
"I dare say you will see that spike another $50,000 in the next couple of years.”
Mr Appleton said he would like to see a long steady growth over the next four to six years rather than a boom and bust market.
"With a spike everyone is waiting for when it is going to collapse again, a long drawn-out raise would be healthier for the community,” he said.
"Hopefully Adani doesn't result in a spike and drive everything mad with nothing available.
"You would prefer to see it rise 5 per cent each year.”
Rockhampton Regional Council is expected to comment tomorrow on regional contingency measures for dealing with accommodation pressures.