Rental vacancy rates soar as refinery built

By KRYSTEN BOOTHbooth@gladstoneobserver.com.au

IT'S official. Rental vacancy rates have skyrocketed.

Figures released by the Real Es- tate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) showed that house vacancies in Gladstone had risen from 5.53 per cent to 9.21 per cent in the September quarter.

Unit vacancies in Gladstone had risen from 5.85 per cent to 12.74 per cent.

REIQ Gladstone Zone chair Mary Ayscough said it was inevitable property vacancies would rise fol- lowing the completion of construc- tion of the Comalco Alumina Re- finery.

"I think you'll find things have started to even out a bit,'' Ms Ays- cough said.

"Recently we've noticed a lot of new people coming to town.''

Gladstone mayor Peter Corones echoed sentiments that there was nothing to worry about.

"Looking at what has happened in the past we sort of got caught out (by not having enough rentals),'' Cr Cor- ones said.

"What will happen in the next year is that the market will quickly absorb that excess.''

Meanwhile the median price of a house in Gladstone rose 2.6 per cent to $195,000 in the September quarter.

In Calliope Shire the median price of a house dropped 14 per cent from $265,000 to $228,000.



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