It’s no wonder Coast residents feel locked out of the rental market.
It’s no wonder Coast residents feel locked out of the rental market.

Report shows dire state of Coast’s rental market

IT’s ‘slim pickings’ for rental properties on the Fraser Coast with desperately low vacancy rates in the June quarter.

Maryborough’s vacancy rate was 0.4 per cent while Hervey Bay was at 1.6 per cent.

That compares to 1.2% for Maryborough and 4.3% for Hervey Bay in the previous quarter.

More than two thirds of Queensland is experiencing tight rental vacancies with 18 per cent of the state at less than 1 per cent vacancy, including places like Maryborough and Mount Isa.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland CEO Antonia Mercorella said the organisation’s latest figures showed the state was facing the tightest rental conditions since the Global Financial Crisis.

She said the figures, released yesterday, showed more needed to be done to increase property investment.

“Every Queenslander should have access to a safe, secure and affordable home that meets their needs and supports them to participate in the social and economic life of a vibrant and prosperous state,” 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.

“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 there had been a general shift in Queensland’s rental composition to more affordable rental supplies in outer urban and regional areas during COVID-19.

“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 said.

“However, such limited rental supplies have the potential to result in poorly matched housing preferences and impact the urban spatial structure and functioning of these same regions – such as transport costs, labour markets and access to services and amenities.

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

Ms Mercorella said a lack of investment over the past two decades meant social housing was available mostly to those with the most complex and urgent needs.

“While there’s evidence of longer term renting of 10 or more years and some households facing the prospect of a lifelong tenure in this sector, what this suggests is that our rental market has changed from its historical role as a transitional housing sector for people moving into home ownership or social housing to a long-term housing sector for a significant number of Queensland households,” she said.

“It’s for these reasons rental vacancies can actually act as a barometer that measures the health of our property market.”