Property

The comeback kid: Gladstone on the mend

60 Witney St in Telina is open for inspection from 12noon-12.20pm on Saturday.
60 Witney St in Telina is open for inspection from 12noon-12.20pm on Saturday.

AS GLADSTONE moved through the worst of the end of the construction boom last year the number of vacant rental properties in the city ballooned to well above 1000.

Real estate agent and the owner of Elders in Gladstone, Colin Burke, explained the number of rentals coming onto the market last year was at times going up by 100 or so properties each month.

But, in what may be a sign of better things to come, for the first time in 12 months the total number of available rentals coming onto the market has decreased.

The drop isn't much and Mr Burke said it was only early days but the number of available rentals dipped from 1,118 at the end of January this year to 1,111 last month.

"It's significant because it's the first time in 12 months rental properties coming onto the market have stopped going up by 20, 50, 100 a month," Mr Burke said.

"Last year we got up to 900 and then it kept going."

He said the reason for the slight drop in vacancies could be attributed to a surprising but pleasing trend which is seeing some people return to Gladstone for its affordability.

"From our perspective more people are coming back to Gladstone from places like Rockhampton and Bundaberg," Mr Burke said.

"The people who couldn't afford to live here during the boom are coming back."

And is it any wonder, when rental prices are so cheap.

36 Mars Cres in Telina is open for inspection from 2-2.45pm on Saturday
36 Mars Cres in Telina is open for inspection from 2-2.45pm on Saturday

Figures released by the Residential Tenancies Authority yesterday found at this time two years ago the average cost of rent for two bedroom flats and three bedroom houses were $310 and $370 respectively.

As of February those averages had dropped to $180 for a two bedroom flat and $240 for three bedroom houses.

The director of Ray White in Gladstone, John Fieldus, said this made Gladstone just about the cheapest place to rent on the eastern seaboard.

Mikaela Adams, who works for John and looks after rental properties in town, has just moved back to Gladstone after leaving in 2013 to get more bang for her buck.

"I moved to Toowoomba in October 2013 because rents were too expensive up here," she said.

"I was living in a two bedroom unit in central Gladstone and paying $410 a week. That same unit is now going for $160 a week.

"In Toowoomba there wasn't much difference in what I was paying for rent in Gladstone but I had a much better house in a really nice location," the 21-year old said.

Although Mikaela quite liked living in Toowoomba and has hopes of one day living on the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast, she couldn't resist coming back to where she grew up because of how affordable it was to rent and live independently.

"It's also good because all my friends are here and even a couple of them have moved back because they can afford to live here now," she said.

Mikaela did admit she knows she struck gold when she landed her job.

"I know that some of my friends have applied for over 900 jobs in Gladstone and haven't got any," she said.

7 Parkview Ct in Kin Kora is open from 3.30-4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
7 Parkview Ct in Kin Kora is open from 3.30-4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Debrah Wilder has had a similar experience and had to leave Gladstone four years ago after she couldn't afford paying the high rents brought on by the construction boom.

"I lost my job as a cleaner and had to move because people got greedy and put the rents up so high," she said.

"I had to leave and go to Bundy which was sad because so many other people had to do the same. (But) I came back last October because I got my old job back and just last October got a place to rent for $180 a week," she said.

Debrah said she was happy to be back in town and is now working three different jobs as a cleaner to pay the bills.

Colin Burke said job security was a big factor in being able to attract more people to a town, but did say that part of what was making Gladstone's rental prices so affordable was due to the exodus of the bigger companies in town.

"The forecast is that we've reached the height of available rental properties and hopefully if what we're seeing continues, this number should plateau for the next six months," he said.

"This should see the big rental pool diminish which is unlikely to put pressure on rents. Prices should remain steady," he said.

 

LJ Hooker sales consultant Courtney Steel talks about 2 Swagman Dr, Benaraby

 

We are in a slower market where buyers are making slower decisions, but I wouldn't say we're in a bad market. The owners have only done a price drop just because they want it sold.


After signing up 61 new leases in February Mr Burke said his team had been the busiest they'd been in a very long time.

His current rental breakdown for three bedroom houses includes 312 properties with 13 houses under $150 a week and 81 under $200 a week.

Ray White director, Mr Fieldus, can remember seeing 20 cars lined up along the street for an open house during the boom.

"There was a lot of desperation in the boom and people had to leave town," he said.

"However, the pendulum has swung the other way and the town is now saying 'please come back'.

Mr Fieldus confirmed there was very strong evidence people were coming back, which has seen his rental vacancy rates halved from 8% at Christmas to 4.4% as of the end of February.

"In terms of the lease renewals, we've relet 88 properties, which shows people are feeling stable and looking at staying in Gladstone," he said.

"It's only very early days but what we've got to do is bring back Gladstone as a good seaside port, as opposed to a whopping big construction site."

On 2a Archer Street, Sun Valley:

 

"The day that they [his parents] said they were putting it on the market, it was a bit sad"

-- Elders sales consultant Luke Watts

Topics:  construction boom, elders, gladstone, real estate, rent, rental properties




Ratepayers' slugged $780,000 for sports park stuff-up

OOPS! The excavation work at Liz Cunningham park at Calliope has been a $780,000 mistake that ratepayers will foot the bill for.

It might work at Lords but it doesn't in Calliope

Rio Tinto pays $3 million tax, payments to Gladstone council

FILE PHOTO: The Rio Tinto's Yarwun plant.

Gladstone council gets a healthy cut of Rio's profits

WATCH: Gladstone 'criminal' rammed cops in runaway rampage

Grant Lee Hawdon hwe as sentenced over two counts of dangerous operation of a car in Rockhampton and Calliope.

GLADSTONE “career criminal” deliberately rammed a police car.

Latest deals and offers

The Bachelor: Vinteaea tells why she had to walk out

Vintaea Carlos was one of 22 "bachelorettes" looking for love on the fourth season of The Bachelor.

Queensland beauty leaves Richie at rose ceremony.

Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp is stalling divorce

Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp is delaying their divorce

The Bachelor host: this year's season is a cracker

The Bachelor host Osher Gunsberg.

GUNSBERG says tonight will be "the best night of TV of the year".

Kerri-Anne Kennerley to Sonia Kruger: "Stay brave"

She said her television peer should "stay brave"

Swimwear designer looking for love on The Bachelor

Noni Janur on her first day of filming.

The 25-year-old is one of 22 women vying for Richie Strahan’s heart

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles