Extremely low vacancy rates plague almost 80% of Queensland

author-avatar By on April 20, 2021
Extremely low vacancy rates plague almost 80% of Queensland

New data has revealed 78.9% of Queensland's rental markets remained static or experienced tighter vacancy rates in the first quarter of 2021.

A report from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) found 70.2% of the state's vacancy rates remained under 1.0%.

Brisbane's inner-city experienced the biggest pinch, with vacancy rates dropping 0.5% in the quarter to the end of March 2021. 

REIQ chief executive Antonia Mercorella said it had been almost a decade since rental conditions had been this severe. 

“Record-low interest rates, government support and stimulus measures, and the pandemic-driven stampede we’ve witnessed migrating beyond our southern borders have sent Brisbane’s private rental market into uncharted territory, pushing vacancy rates down to their lowest levels since October 2012,” Ms Mercorella said. 

“In fact, our capital has seen rental markets across the entire metropolitan tighten quarter-on-quarter for the last four consecutive reporting periods, from Brisbane’s CBD out to the city’s outer rim.”


Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. If products listed have an LVR <80%, they will be clearly identified in the product name along with the specific LVR. The product and rate must be clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments were calculated based on the selected products’ advertised rates, applied to a $400,000 loan with a 30-year loan term.


In the last 12 months, rental vacancies dropped 1.1% in the Brisbane Local Government area (LGA), while Greater Brisbane saw vacancies tighten by 0.9%. 

The REIQ found some of the tightest vacancies across the capital's suburban area include Capalaba (0.2%), Rothwell (0.2%), Birkdale (0.3%), Ferny Hill (0.3%), Gumdale (0.4%), Shailer Park (0.4%), and Sandgate (0.5%). 

Related: Where is it cheaper to buy than rent in Brisbane?

“Where we’re seeing the most pronounced rental demand levels far outstrip available vacancies is across regional Queensland, with the tightest vacancies currently to be found in the Fraser Coast’s Maryborough (0.2%) followed by the Southern Downs (0.3%) and Bundaberg regions (0.5%), while a rate of 0.4% has been recorded across Gympie, Rockhampton and Sunshine Coast,” Ms Mercorella said. 

“Meanwhile, the Gold Coast has tightened a further 0.3% to reach a record low of 0.6% in the last 15 years of data records.”

The popular Surfers Paradise precinct recorded a 0.8% vacancy rate over the quarter, but other Gold Coast areas were far tighter, with the southern suburbs recording a median rate of 0.4% and the western suburbs 0.4%. 

"Immediate action" needed

Ms Mercorella said the state government must take steps to repair the Queensland rental market, and called for the First Home Owner Grant to be amended to include existing homes. 

“With no support measures announced for the established housing sector in last year’s State Budget, the REIQ believes the Palaszczuk Government must take immediate action to resolve our current rental crisis,” she said.

“The rental sector plays a critical role in Queensland’s housing system and the role and size of our investor market has never been so important." 

In March, the Queensland Government announced it would release a new State Infrastructure Strategy to support Queensland's economic recovery. 

Deputy Premier Dr Steven Miles said the government was committed to stimulating the economy and sustaining the construction industry. 

"Queensland’s population is booming, and we must keep up with the increased demand in infrastructure – the formation of the Growth Areas Delivery Team I announced recently, will see us do just that," Dr Miles said.

“The Team will consider challenges affecting land supply; housing choice and affordability; land fragmentation; progressing development applications and facilitating essential urban infrastructure.”

Related: Queensland urged to abolish stamp duty.

More land means lower house prices 

NAB chief executive Ross McEwan fronted the House of Representatives economics standing committee on Friday and called on state governments to increase land supply in order to cool house prices. 

Mr McEwan said it was taking developers "five to seven years to go from a paddock to having land available for somebody to put a house on."

"That is an area I would encourage the states to have a serious look at," he said. 

Mr McEwan urged the states to streamline the approval processes for land development and residential construction, with a resurgence of people wanting to build homes. 

Supply-based solutions such as these have also been called for by economists and the likes of The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), which called for the following

House prices are currently increasing at their fastest rate in decades.


Photo by Jasper Bennett on Unsplash

Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered which includes retail products from at least the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned institutions and Australia’s larger non-banks:

  • The big four banks are: ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
  • The top 10 customer-owned Institutions are the ten largest mutual banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, ranked by assets under management in November 2020. They are (in descending order): Credit Union Australia, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, Peoples’ Choice Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and P&N Bank.
  • The larger non-bank lenders are those who (in 2020) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.
  • If you click on a product link and you are referred to a Product or Service Provider’s web page, it is highly likely that a commercial relationship exists between that Product or Service Provider and Savings.com.au

Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site.

In the interests of full disclosure, Savings.com.au, Performance Drive and Loans.com.au are part of the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings.com.au manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please click through onto the web site links.

*Comparison rate is based on a loan of $150,000 over a term of 25 years. Please note the comparison rate only applies to the examples given. Different loan amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees and costs savings, such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan.

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Alex joined Savings.com.au in 2019. He is passionate about providing Australians with the information and tools needed to make them financially stable for their futures.

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