Some CQ towns in property vacancy 'stabilisation phase'

NEW vacancy rate data from the REIQ has revealed regional Queensland continues to struggle to find its feet following the resources downturn, but some of the hardest hit towns are entering a stabilisation phase.

"We can see those towns, where employment rates are stronger and opportunities are greater, that the rental market is recovering more quickly.

"The State Government has announced a range of regional infrastructure projects in its recent budget and these will doubtless impact on the vacancy rates in the coming quarters," REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said.

The REIQ classifies vacancy rates of 2.5% or below as tight and rates of 2.5% to 3.5% as healthy. Vacancy rates of 3.6% or above is classed as a weak market.

Mackay has recorded its third consecutive drop in its vacancy rate, down 0.3 percentage points since the end of March to 9.1%.

Gladstone's vacancy rate saw a sharp increase since the end of March - something many local agents had been anticipating with the slow release of ex-mining owned properties being brought back into the rental pool.

However with no more building activity occurring local agents say that the natural population growth for the region is and will continue to slowly absorb the current levels of rental supply.

Bundaberg recorded the highest vacancy rate in 21 quarters, since March 2009, with a vacancy rate at the end of June 2015 up 0.5 percentage points to 4.6%.

Rockhampton's rental market also remains in continued oversupply, with its vacancy rate increasing to 6% at the end of June.

Toowoomba's rental market remained relatively unchanged over the three months to June, with the vacancy rate marginally down 0.1 percentage points to 3.1%.

Moreton Bay registered a vacancy rate of 1.4%, up from 1.3% the previous quarter.

Caboolture registered the lowest vacancy rate in the state at just 1%.

"This reflects a very tight market and there is very little rental accommodation on the market, at the moment," REIQ Caboolture Zone Chair Robyn Lachmund said.

The Gold Coast's vacancy rate bumped up slightly, going from 1.3% at the end of March to 2.3% at the end of June.

The Sunshine Coast dipped from 1.9% to 1.5%, reflecting continued tight conditions, largely due to seasonal workers and relocations from Brisbane.

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