Rental vacancy rates in Queensland have tightened to record lows in the first quarter of 2022 in more than half of the 50 Local Government Areas and sub-regions reported on by the REIQ.
The REIQ’s Residential Vacancy Report for the March 2022 quarter, released today, shows the Tablelands Region in Far North Queensland, and the Southern Downs Region along the boundary with New South Wales now top the tightest vacancy rates in the state at a minuscule 0.1%.
In regional areas such as South Burnett, Gympie, and Goondiwindi, the vacancy rate has dwindled to a mere 0.2%, representing a ten-year low in each of these regions. Maryborough remained steady at 0.2% (with minimal improvement from the previous quarter at 0.1%).
Record or equal record lows were reached this quarter in 28 of the 50 LGAs and sub-regions in the report, and all but one (Redland’s Bay Islands) were sitting at 1.5% or under – which is well within what the REIQ classifies as “tight” (0 – 2.5%), and far from “healthy” (2.6 – 3.5%).
Notably, Brisbane experienced the biggest drops, with Inner Brisbane’s (0-5km) vacancy rate tumbling to 1.5%, Middle Brisbane (5-20km) falling to 0.9%, and Outer Brisbane also down to 0.6%. Combined, this resulted in Brisbane LGA vacancy rates slipping to 1.1% and Greater Brisbane going down to 0.7%.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said with the rental squeeze being experienced right across Queensland, now even depleting the vast rental stock in Inner Brisbane, it could signal a renewed interest in city living.
“While we continue to see regional markets gradually tightening, Brisbane’s vacancy rates have taken a dramatic dive this quarter, especially when looking at the 0-5km Inner Brisbane ring,” Ms Mercorella said.
“This drop could reflect the return of international students as well as hospitality and entertainment workers to the inner city, or simply prospective renters focusing their search in areas where the vacancy rate is healthier, and they have more options and therefore better prospects.
“Queensland has also had a steep population boost from interstate migration, with those making the shift to the Sunshine State potentially deciding to start their life in the heart of the capital city.
“Yet another factor that’s added to the squeeze on the rental stock during this quarter is the February flooding disaster displacing people from their homes.”
Ms. Mercorella said with investors selling and the dominant purchasers being owner-occupiers, more homes that were previously investment properties were effectively being removed from the rental market, shrinking an already scarce base of rental supply.
“With the second stage of rental reforms looming, the last thing we need right now in the midst of a rental crisis is legislative reform which undermines investor confidence,” she said.
“With record-low vacancy rates, and 36% of our population renting their homes, we can’t afford to reduce the appeal of investing in Queensland. That’s why we’ll continue to advocate for fair and balanced legislation that maintains a level playing field for both investors and tenants.”
March 2022 Quarter Stats
- Queensland Vacancy Rate: 0.7%
- Tightest Vacancy Rates:
- 0.1% (tight) – Tablelands, Southern Downs
- 0.2% (tight) – Maryborough, South Burnett, Gympie, Goondiwindi
- Highest Vacancy Rates:
- 2.8% (healthy) – Redland’s Bay Islands
- 1.5% (tight) – Inner-ring Brisbane 0-5km
- Biggest falls:
- -0.8% (down) – Inner Brisbane 0-5km (1.5%)
- -0.7% (down) – Brisbane LGA (1.1%)
- -0.4% (down) – Middle Brisbane 5-20km (0.9%), Central Highlands (0.7%)
- -0.3% (down) – Greater Brisbane (0.7%), Logan (0.7%), Lockyer Valley (0.5%)
- Biggest rise:
- +0.3% (up) – Mount Isa (1.2%)
Record lows reached
The following 18 LGAs and sub regions reached record lows for the past decade:
- Brisbane LGA (1.1%)
- Middle Brisbane (0.9%)
- Greater Brisbane (0.7%)
- Outer Brisbane (0.6%)
- Ipswich (0.6%)
- Logan (0.7%)
- Moreton Bay (0.5%)
- Redcliffe (0.5%)
- Cairns (0.5%)
- Lockyer Valley (0.5%)
- Scenic Rim (0.5%)
- Caboolture (0.4%)
- Gold Coast (0.4%)
- Toowoomba (0.3%)
- Goondiwindi (0.2%)
- South Burnett (0.2%)
- Southern Downs (0.1%)
- Tablelands (0.1%)
The following 10 LGAs and sub regions reached equal record lows for the past decade:
- Hervey Bay (0.8%)
- Central Highlands (0.7%)
- Mackay (0.6%)
- Townsville (0.6%)
- Maranoa (0.6%)
- Fraser Coast (0.5%)
- Mainland (Redland) (0.4%)
- Bundaberg (0.4%)
- Mareeba (0.4%)
- Gympie (0.2%)
The REIQ classes rental markets into three categories, tight, healthy, or weak. These markets are classified according to vacancy rates:
- 0 – 2.5% = tight
- 2.6 – 3.5% = healthy
- 3.6% – plus = weak