REIQ chairman for Ipswich region, Darren Boettcher.
REIQ chairman for Ipswich region, Darren Boettcher. Rob Williams

Higher demand means renters will feel pinch

A PROPERTY analyst is warning Ipswich will face a housing shortage in the next year as the number of people wanting to move into the area exceeds the number of available homes.

His theory is supported by property data released this month which shows the number of houses available for rent is dropping rapidly.

If the trend continues renters could be facing higher weekly rents and fierce competition to secure a home.

But local agents are less concerned with one predicting the opposite outcome.

RIEQ zone chair Darren Boettcher says by the end of the year it will be landlords competing for tenants as more houses become available in new estates.

This month the REIQ released the March quarter data on Ipswich's vacancy rates, or the number of empty houses on the market for rent, showing over three months the rate dropped from 2.5% to 1.8%.

Generally a vacancy rate below 2% indicates a shortage and rents begin to increase.

According to the latest market outlook report from Brisbane based property guru Michael Matusik that shortage will likely see rents increase by $15 a week over the next 12 months.

Mr Matusik says the market is balanced at the moment, but he expects it to become "undersupplied in the coming months", as demand outstrips the supply.

According to Ipswich City Council between 6000 and 7000 people are moving into the region every year. Last financial year the council approved 2785 new homes for construction.

A search of the 4305 postcode shows there are 453 homes available for rent right now and 87 of those are listed as apartments or townhouses.

Despite the figures, Mr Boettcher's warning is for landlords, not renters.

He says there is too much development underway in the city for a housing shortage and that by December there will be more than enough new houses coming onto the market to cater to demand.

There is already an oversupply of units in Ipswich and for Mr Boettcher that's a sign of the times ahead.

"Right now the supply and demand balance is good, but come Christmas time the renters will have more to choose from," Mr Boettcher said.

"That means landlords need to be a little wary of properties they're renting out later in the year and make sure they're competitive in their pricing.

"That competition will drive the rental prices down."

The demand isn't just coming from new people moving into the region either.

Mr Boettcher said there is a lot of interest in the new estates such as at Deebing Heights, Ripley Valley and Brassall from established residents looking to upgrade to a newer style home.

"People might be living in a 60s, 70s or 80s built house at the moment paying $340 a week in rent," Mr Boettcher said.

"But they can see that for the same money they can be in a brand new, four bedroom, double lock-up garage house and they're making that move.

"The rental yields for owners are good at the moment, but there is a lot of new property about to come onto the market and I think in the next quarter we will see a price correction."

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