Relief for Bundy renters as vacancy rates ease
THREE in 100 rental properties were available in Bundaberg during the first three months of this year, according to statistics by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland.
The rate of 3.1 per cent of vacant rental properties in Bundaberg undoubtedly explains why securing a place to rent in this town can feel like a competition. As difficult as it might be to find a place to rent, local real estate agents acknowledge that the vacancy rates had increased by one per cent since last December.
Despite the change the local property market remained at a "healthy status”.
Young couple Harrison Steele and Abbey Harris spent two months searching for a rental in the area but yesterday managed to secure a lease for a unit in Bargara.
They had considered another rental property and had the rental application form for one night before the property was taken by someone else.
"There is a lot in our budget but it was hard finding the right house,” Ms Harris said.
McColms First National's business development manager Donna May said there were many workers visiting agents looking for a rental.
"We are finding that we do have a lot of companies that are coming in for contract work,” she said.
"An increase of doctors enquiring about properties...and three new cadets from the police academy just in the last week. In fact, two turned up to the same property for a viewing.”
The demand for rentals was far worse following the Bundaberg flood in 2013, when the rate went as low as 0.8 per cent.
Mrs May said that house owners affected by flood damage had to rent properties that were paid for by insurance companies, which dropped availability and increased the demand.
Then the properties were repaired and the need for rentals dropped, which caused a "glut”.
"Suddenly very few people were looking for a rental so prices had to drop considerably to get people back in the rental property,” Mrs May said.
"Every six months to a year we are increasing rent to the property and tenants are willing to pay the rent increase.”
REIQ zone chair Le-Anne Allan said the increased availability of rentals was a regular pattern this time of the year as tenants usually remained through the Christmas season.
"Now, people are probably getting their transfers through, and Easter is a bit of a transfer for people to move,” she said.
The availability of rentals dropped in Gladstone although the rate was the same as Bundaberg. The vacancy rate was worse in Rockhampton, Townsville, and Mackay.