Rents have increased across Central Queensland recently.
Rents have increased across Central Queensland recently.

High demand, more growth forecast for CQ market

Central Queensland property markets continue to reflect high demand and continued growth, according to the latest real estate report by Herron Todd White.

The March 2021 Month in Review placed Rockhampton and Gladstone in the ‘start of recovery’ category industrially.

In Rockhampton, the review forecast increased industrial employment growth thanks to coming infrastructure works.

“The price of coal has been declining over the past 18 to 24 months, showing greater instability,” it said.

“This may cause some uncertainty in the industrial property sector as industries that support mining have less certainty, however, the rate of growth in industrial markets in Rockhampton is now more likely to be dependent on the timing of infrastructure projects coming to fruition.”

It said industrial rental rates were “relatively stable”, and any rent increases would be moderate.

In residential housing, Rockhampton, Gladstone, and Emerald were grouped in the ‘rising market’ category.

The report noted that investors were increasingly interested in Rockhampton.

“The impact has been massive with vacancy rates dropping to below one per cent for many sectors of our market, resulting in weekly rental prices rising in the order of 20 per cent or more in the space of 12 months from what was a tough time for landlords in the pre-COVID era,” it said.

“Gross yields vary depending on the locality, age and quality of property but often fall in the range of six to ten per cent.”

Gladstone was said to be less expensive than its neighbours, despite recent residential growth.

Some house and land packages, the review said, were being sold to southern, interstate buyers.

“Vacancy rates remain low, around the one per cent mark and are expected to remain tight for the foreseeable future,” it said.

“Rents have risen considerably in the past few years. The latest data from the RTA indicates that the median rent (for a four-bedroom house) in Gladstone has risen 46 per cent from the bottom of the market in 2017 to now.”

The report said projects such as solar farms and hydrogen processing plants would have little effect on the market, but might increase confidence in the economy.

Further inland, investors near Emerald – “mostly Moranbah and Blackwater” – were getting gross yields higher than 10 per cent on some properties.

“Rents continue to rise with pressure from low vacancy rates across the board due to strong employment demand in the resource sector despite the turmoil in the world,” the review said.

Buying agency Maker Advisory‘s Reece Coleman said the Australian property market at the moment was “like a pub with no beer, or only the really overpriced stuff”.

“We have an influx of expats returning to our shores, large numbers of city folk fleeing our capitals in favour of coastal and rural settings, and home loan interest rates reaching historic lows – all of which are creating a huge groundswell of buyer demand that far outweighs actual supply,” he said.

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