New trend emerges as rent returns to pre-boom state

RENTAL crisis? What rental crisis.

A couple of years ago Gladstone was in the middle of a massive rental crisis.

Rents went through the roof, forcing many people to leave town because they could no longer afford the cost of living.

Then came a massive building boom, the creation of workers' camps and all of a sudden the cost of rent dropped right back down - to the point where there had been concern that there was about to be a huge oversupply in the rental market.

But the tables are starting to turn, according to Ray White Real Estate principal Andrew Allen.

Mr Allen said this week there was a new trend in town now that rentals were becoming more affordable.

"We have found for the past couple of years or so that couples have shared houses with other couples, just so that they could make ends meet," Mr Allen said.

"Now we are finding that, because rentals have reduced considerably over the past few months, those couples are finding that they can afford to rent a house on their own, reducing the oversupply of properties."

Mr Allen said at the beginning of this year there were about 800 rental properties available in the Gladstone, Calliope and Boyne/Tannum area.

That number has now reduced to about 400.

"It's a phenomenon that we just hadn't considered, but we are experiencing it," he said.

"We have already seen that a lot of the surplus has been taken up, and as current leases expire we'd expect the trend to continue."

Mr Allen said he had also seen that people who were new to the region found it affordable to rent their own place, rather than a room in a share house, which also helped the over-supply problem.

He said as far as prices were concerned, the rental market was now back to similar levels to those experienced before the 2011/2012 shortage.

THE NUMBERS

  • 800 vacant rental properties at the beginning of 2014.
  • 400 vacant rental properties now.
  • Average cost of four bedroom home before the crisis: $400.
  • During the crisis that cost rose to above $600.
  • The cost has now reduced to about $400.


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