Rocky's rental vacancy makes mega turn-around
ROCKHAMPTON'S rental market suffered in a year of economic struggles but the pendulum has finally shifted.
A low interest rate environment and added demand generated by Adani's FIFO base announcement have vacancy rates plummeting.
LJ Hooker Rockhampton's head of property management Tara Mladenovic said the agency's rental pool was continually tightening.
"We had a vacancy rate of 3.6 per cent in July, which tightened again to 3.06 per cent in August," she said.
LJ Hooker was currently sitting at a staggering 1.77 per cent rate for October.
In the Real Estate Institute of Queensland's quarterly report for June, Rockhampton was one of the highest in the state at more than 7 per cent.
Herron Todd White reported the average rate for Rockhampton had declined by 2 per cent since June and was now around 4 per cent.
In their month in review for November, Gracemere followed a similar path, now reporting a lower overall vacancy rate than Rockhampton, sitting in the low 4 per cent range.
Ms Mladenovic said the dramatic decline would only continue, benefiting landlords and investors coming to the region against a backdrop of price growth in the southeast.
"There will no doubt be reward for landlords (from the FIFO contracts), just as there will be rewards for the wider business community through the economic boost of employment," she said.
Herron Todd White also reported consistencies in tenants seeking out more modern and well-maintained properties.
Ms Mladenovic said inquiries were coming for the spectrum of rental properties.
"Savvy landlords are asking us what they can do to their property to make it more appealing to tenants, beyond a competitive rental price," she said.
Despite the expected growth Ms Mladenovic urged landlords to be strategic when setting their asking rental prices.
"As we've seen, the vacancy rate can be fickle, and landlords need to be strategic when reviewing their next rental lease. Expecting too much could jeopardise a regular, healthy income stream," she said.
Pat O'Dricoll Real Estate's business development manager Rebecca Trott said investor interest in Rocky was obvious.
"Even the weekend that it (FIFO hub) was announced we had around four people still undecided on whether to invest," she said.
"But as soon as it was announced, they all just flooded in."
Ms Trott said contracts were being signed all over Rocky. She said investors were listening to the demand and holding on instead of selling.
"The rental market for Rocky points directly to growth," she said.