RENT PRESSURE: Median rents for homes are rising in most suburbs across the region.
RENT PRESSURE: Median rents for homes are rising in most suburbs across the region. Contributed

Rent jump on the way in tight market

WITH two children, and a baby on the way, North Mackay resident Claire Simpson is worried about finding a home for her young family.

Ms Simpson is one of hundreds of people in the Mackay region struggling in the competitive rental market. At an inspection yesterday, Ms Simpson said there were more than 10 people looking at a single property.

Ms Simpson said she had been searching for a four-bedroom home for three months and her family had faced constant rejection.

"It seems by the time you get to inspecting them they have already approved applicants."

With her baby due in just three months, Ms Simpson said the pressure had been horrible.

"It has been so hard. There have been so many tears," she said.

According to the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, Mackay's rental market reached a 2.9 per cent vacancy rate in the March quarter.

While that is classified as a "healthy" rental market by the REIQ, Mackay zone chairman Peter McFarlane said it did not reflect the state of the region's housing supply.

"There's more people looking to rent than there are houses available. Simply put, demand is exceeding the supply," he said.

With an influx of new renters coming into Mackay, Mr McFarlane said the market was reaching a "critical level".

"It's tighter than what would be considered healthy."

The pressure on the market is causing rental increases across Mackay. Mr McFarlane said anyone whose rental contract was about to be renewed should expect to see a rent increase of 5 to 20 per cent.

In September, Mackay's vacancies hit their lowest levels in more than a decade.

Renters battled in the tightest rental market in the state, as only 0.9 per cent of rental properties were available. It is a far cry from the 9.8 per cent vacancy rate recorded in December 2014, in the midst of the resource downturn.

Explore Property business and development manager Sarah Pietzner said during the downturn Mackay had more than 1200 vacant properties. Today, she said there were fewer than 450 properties open for renters.

With properties receiving numerous applications within 24 hours of them being listed, she described Mackay's rental market as "hectic".

"The mid-range places are turning over so quickly people are missing out," she said.


REIQ Median price for 3 bed houses change September 2017 -2018

Mackay Region

Sarina, Sarina Beach, Armstrong Beach: 2018: $300 | 2017 $280 - $20 p/week increase

Mackay: 2018: $340 | 2017: $300 - $40 p/week increase

Various Islands, Clairview, Eton, Farleigh, Flaggy Rock, Gargett, Mt Christian, Mt Ossa, Oakenden, Pinnacle, Pleystowe, Seaforth, Yalboroo: 2018: $355 | 2017: $250 - $105 p/week increase

Bucasia, Seaview Heights, Shoal Pt: 2018: $345 | 2017: $330 - $15 p/week increase

Isaac Region:

Clermont: 2018: $265 | 2017: $240 - $25 p/week increase

Nebo: 2018: $200 | 2017: $203 - $3 p/week decrease

Moranbah: 2018: $300 | 2017: $220 - $80 p/week increase

Dysart: 2018: $160 | 2017: $160: No change in weekly rents

Middlemount: 2018: $275 | 2017: $225 - $50 p/week increase


Cannon Valley, Conway, Dingo Bch, Erlando Bch, Mt Julian, Mt Marlow, Nth Gregory, Proserpine, Riordanvale, Strathdickie, Wilson Bch: 2018: $350 | 2017: $340 - $10 p/week increase

Airlie Beach, Cannonvale, Jubilee, Shute Harbour, Shutehaven, Whitsunday: 2018: $425 | 2017: $423 - $2 p/week increase

Collinsville: 2018: $228 | 2017: $250 - $22 p/week decrease

Bowen: 2018: $275 | 2017: $280 - $5 p/week decrease

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