'Not flooding': LNG plants release rental properties in 'controlled manner'

MINING and resource companies are steadily releasing properties into Gladstone's market to soften the blow to rental prices, according to one real estate agent who manages a company's properties.

>>'Suffering': Landlords in trouble with nightmare rent drop

Yesterday, The Observer reported that a glut in the housing market where vacancy rates had plateaued over the past three quarters was partly due to mining companies releasing houses into the market.

REIQ spokeswoman Felicity Moore said the companies which operate in Gladstone and previously housed their workers in the properties, were "sitting" on the properties.

"The mining companies sat on their properties for a little while … but as it's become clear that the projects are finished they've decided to rent them," she said.  

"That's softened the market."

But Elder's principal Colin Burke stressed the companies were releasing the properties in a "controlled manner" to avoid putting stress on the rental market.

"It's certainly happened steadily over the last 12 months," he said. "The big [LNG] gas companies have tried to soften the effect."

"It's not helping [the rental market], but it's not flooding the market that much."

>>Investors hit as mining companies rent out vacant homes

Mining and resource companies have entered the rental market.
Mining and resource companies have entered the rental market.

He said the number of properties released by the companies was easing with expectations they would eventually sell them.

Mr Burke, who's agency leases houses for one of the major companies, said the Gladstone properties included houses and units.

The 12-month timeframe coincides with a plateau over the past three quarters' where vacancy rates in Gladstone have drifted around double-digit territory.

Mr Burke said vacancy rates for the Elders agency had dropped to about 7.2% since January and that all of Gladstone was sitting at 10.2%

"And that's an indication of where the market's going -- it's not going to go downwards quickly, but it'll be a slow decline," he said.

"Certainly, there's a very slow trend."

The Observer is waiting for a response from Curtis Island's three LNG plants. 



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