Slim pickings for Queensland rentals

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on August 11, 2020
Slim pickings for Queensland rentals

Photo by Daniel Jurin from Pexels

Renters might be hard pressed to find a rental property in Queensland, with as much as 70% of the market facing its tightest rental conditions since the GFC.

That's according to the latest quarterly rental vacancy data released today by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ). 

Buying an investment property or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest variable interest rates on the market for investors.

Advertised rate Comparison rate* Monthly repayment Rate TypeOffsetRedrawOngoing FeeUpfront FeesLVRLump Sum RepaymentAdditional RepaymentsPre-approval

VariableMore details
  • No application fee
  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Unlimited free redraws
VariableMore details

Smart Investor Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 80%)

  • Option to add an offset for 0.10%
  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30 day settlement
  • No on-going or monthly fees

Smart Investor Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 80%)

  • Option to add an offset for 0.10%
  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30 day settlement
  • No on-going or monthly fees

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%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of January 21, 2022. View disclaimer.

With 18% of Queensland regions experiencing less than 1% vacancy, desperate property seekers are competing for just 0.4% of housing stock in Maryborough, 0.5% in Mount Isa, followed by Gympie (0.9%) and Rockhampton (0.7%).

Areas like Caboolture (1.2%), Fraser Coast (1.2%), Mackay (1.3%), Sunshine Coast (1.9%) and Townsville (1.7%) are only just faring better, sitting well below 2% vacancy rates. 

Vacancy rates also remain tight in Cairns, Gladstone and Noosa, where renters are competing for 2.4%, 2.0% and 2.4% of available properties respectively.

Over 36% of Queensland's population are renters, which equates to roughly 1.2 million people, and REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said further undersupply will put pressure on renters.

“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,” said Mercorella.

“Any further tightening in rental availability levels will only place additional undue pressures on our housing sector which is why more needs to be done to better support both increased and ongoing property investor activity in the Queensland property market and the contributions they make to the state economy.”

Ms Mercorella said COVID-19 had forced many renters to seek out cheaper properties on the outskirts. 

“It’s no surprise that we’ve seen a shift in our state’s rental composition to more affordable rental supplies in outer urban and regional areas during COVID-19," she said. 

"On the plus side it helps break up their mono-tenure and supports more local economies to withstand the pressures of the pandemic we’re witnessing in our larger cities."

She also said the undersupply of rental properties could also force renters to live in unsuitable housing and put pressure on regional areas.

"It also shows that there’s a decline in government investment in social housing with more low-income renters in the market.”

Brisbane rents to drop amid oversupply

Inside Brisbane's 5k inner-city circle, the mean vacancy rate is 3.9%, but when you drill down a little further into the individual suburbs, the vacancy rates vary dramatically. 

For example, the vacancy rate for Brisbane's CBD is a high 13% versus surrounding suburbs including New Farm and Teneriffe with a vacancy rate of 2.6%.

Nearby suburbs Bowen Hills, Fortitude Valley, Herston, Newstead sit at 7.9% while South Brisbane, Highgate Hill and West End sit at 9.2%. 

Vacancy rates are tighter in Milton and Paddington where renters are competing for 3.3% of housing stock, while Kelvin Grove and Red Hill sit on a vacancy rate of 4.9%.

Renters looking in Brisbane might be in luck: Ms Mercorella said renters can expect to see rents drop in inner-Brisbane suburbs soon.

"In Brisbane CBD we know the rental market has been hit harder due to the high number of renters facing financial stress due to change or loss of employment, a reduction in international tertiary students as well as permanent and temporary migrants, and a significant shift in short-term lets over to the longer-term rental market," Ms Mercorella said.

"It’s therefore likely we’ll see rents drop in the inner-Brisbane areas which in turn will result in tenants eventually returning to the city.

"However, much of it will also depend on the commercial and retail sector’s ability to rebound. It’s very much a ‘watch this space’ situation unlike anything we’ve ever experienced.”


The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered. 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.,,, and Performance Drive are part of the Savings Media group. In the interests of full disclosure, the Savings Media Group are associated with the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings Media Group manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please visit the web site links at the bottom of this page.

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Emma Duffy is Assistant Editor at Your Mortgage and  Your Investment Property Mag, which are part of the Savings Media Group. In this role, she manages a team of journalists and expert contributors committed to keeping readers informed about the latest home loan and finance news and trends, as well as providing in-depth property guides. She is also a finance journalist at which she joined shortly after its launch in early 2019. Emma has a Bachelor in Journalism and has been published in several other publications and been featured on radio.

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