By ZOE SINCLAIRzoe@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
PEOPLE are pouring into the Gladstone region, snapping up rental properties, with vacancies below one per cent.
Gladstone real estate agents were at a loss to explain the rental boom but the figures are proof.
Ray White group property manager John Fieldus believed Gladstone probably had Queensland's lowest rental vacancy rates.
Vacancy rates are 0.0069 per cent.
'Compared with a 10 per cent vacancy unit 12 months ago, now it's less than one per cent vacancy,' Mr Fieldus said.
Mr Fieldus said the low vacancy rates could be attributed to a more stable market from a steady "natural'' increase rather than what Gladstone has previously experienced after a major industrial announcement.
"You usually get people that leave town around Christmas ? but that didn't happen this year,' Mr Fieldus said.
LJ Hooker principal Mark Spearing said there was no individual reason for the high demand for rentals.
'It usually coincides with a major industrial announcement,' Mr Spearing said.
'At this stage it's mainly people coming into town looking for work.'
Mr Spearing said the high demand and limited number of properties did mean the housing issue was now critical.
'If there was to be an industrial announcement of any significance there would be a massive shortage,' Mr Spearing said.
Mr Spearing said the vacancy rate was probably the lowest it had been in Gladstone in the past 10 years.
Real estate agents were predicting the shortage to put pressure on rental prices and also for a flow-on effect to property sales.
Despite educated supposition, real estate agents were wondering why there had been such a high influx in the past couple of weeks.
LJ Hooker Boyne Island rental property manager Sam Coughlan said there were 28 rentals available one week ago. On Friday, only three rentals were available.
Investwell Properties' principal Wendy Russell said the business was fielding many more inquiries than usual for rentals.
'There are a lot of people moving here for work,' Ms Russell said.