Coast rental price surge leaves locals scrambling
Rents on the Sunshine Coast are rising at a faster rate than the Gold Coast, leaving residents and families scrambling to find an affordable home or unit.
New data shows the median asking rent price for a Sunshine Coast home is at a record $530 and $430 for a unit.
Domain's December quarter data found the region had its steepest annual gain in unit prices since mid-2009 and houses since 2014, driven by people moving interstate for a sea-change.
Over the past five years prices for houses rose 16.1 per cent, while houses on the Gold Coast rose 15.2 per cent, according to Domain.
The report said the Sunshine and Gold Coasts outperformed Brisbane, proving lifestyle locations were experiencing an increase in demand.
Coast couple Nikkey Williams and Luke Kelly are looking for a rental property for themselves and their eight-year-old dog Thea.
They are preparing to pay more than they initially planned.
Ms Williams said they were without a home despite having a good rental history and applying for 10 properties in just one week.
"We originally began our search at $400 per week and have recently increased it to $500 because it's been so difficult," Ms Williams said.
The owner of their Dicky Beach rental is moving back in within two weeks.
There are fewer rental properties available too, with Real Estate Institute of Queensland recording a vacancy rate of 0.3 per cent.
"I'm applying for properties within hours of them going up, but still no luck," Ms Williams said.
"We have just under two weeks now to move out and it's starting to look impossible.
"We, like a lot of others, don't have family support nearby so we will be homeless if we can't find anything."
Ray White Queensland chief executive Jason Andrews said vacancy rates were low throughout the state.
He recommended those looking for a rental to work closely with local property agents.
"Approach the real estate agent and have a discussion with them about what you're looking for," Mr Andrews said.
"Get your references in early, that's the most important part right now.
"When an agency is talking to a landlord then they know they can recommend a tenant.
"When there are such high application numbers people are missing out so you need to get on the front foot very early."