GLADSTONE is leading a dramatic rise in rental vacancies in mining towns, according to the latest data from SQM Research.
The SWQ figures show Gladstone has a 5.6% rental vacancy rate, compared to other mining regions such as Port Hedland (WA) 4.6%, Karratha (WA) 3.7% and Roma (QLD) 2.6%.
SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher told the Property Observer website investors needed to be cautious when it came to buying in these towns, which had a vacancy rate well above the national 1.9% vacancy rate.
The vacancy rate in Gladstone more than tripled to 5.6% in March from 1.7% a year ago.
"Property investors over the past 10 years have done extraordinarily well if they held real estate in mining towns," Mr Christopher said.
"However, there is always a risk that when a downturn arrives these markets could have a very rapid and severe correction."
Gladstone Elders Real Estate senior property manager Nikky Nation said apartments which caused the huge vacancy rate were now being filled.
"They have dropped considerably in rental returns and we're now seeing tenants applying," she said.
For most capital cities, vacancies generally remained steady or modestly declined for the month of March.