BREAKING: Gladstone's vacancy rate tumbles
TENANTS are shopping around for "high-end homes" and snapping up the opportunity to rent a luxury Gladstone house on the cheap, one real estate agent says.
Gladstone's vacancy rate has tumbled in the past six months from the second highest in the state in March last year at 11.3% to just 8.9% in the September Quarter.
The rate kept inside single-digit territory in the December Quarter at 9.9%.
But LJ Hooker principal Mark Spearing said the bulk of the 9.9% were low-quality homes as tenants opt for a cheap upgrade.
"The key is of the 9.9% that were available, what percentage of that was of quality and what percentage was at the lower end of the market," he said.
"Good properties are renting fast and anyone trying to get into one knows that."
Mr Spearing said tenants were shopping around for high-end homes at unprecedented cheap prices.
"They are taking advantage of the quality they can get for their dollar," he said.
Gladstone's vacancy rates rocketed in the December Quarter of 2015 to 10%, up from 7.1% the September Quarter of 2015.
The vacancy rate again surged in the March Quarter to 11.3% before dropping to 10.2% in the next quarter.
Mr Spearing said the gradual decline in vacancy rates "quite clearly shows that the market has bottomed out".
But Gladstone still has the highest vacancy rate of Queensland's regional cities, with Bundaberg at 3.8%, Mackay at 7.9%, Toowoomba at 2.8%, Rockhampton at 4.3% and Townsville at 6.4%.