‘UNPRECEDENTED’: Rentals tighten as luxury homes snapped up
WHITSUNDAY rental properties are being snapped up almost a week before they have been vacated as the market continues to tighten.
In late October, Ray White Whitsunday principal Mark Beale said the vacancy rate was well below 1 per cent, which was the lowest he had seen in 20 years.
Mr Beale said the rental sector remained tight throughout November with multiple applications for every property.
This was leading to higher rental costs for properties across the region.
"It is definitely a property owners' market rather than a tenant's market," he said.
"It's going to push the prices up and it means some people won't be able to afford to live in the Cannonvale and Jubilee Pocket areas."
More jobs at the Tassal prawn farm and interest from miners were behind this trend as people chased the seclusion of the Whitsunday lifestyle.
Mr Beale said the average time to rent a property stood at minus 5.8 days.
This means a property is rented 5.8 days before the tenant even moves out.
"It's the first time I've ever seen that," Mr Beale said.
"(The cost of) a lot of the rentals years ago around the Global Financial Crisis were still higher than what they are now.
"The rents have come down a lot over recent years and it's only just now that they've gone back somewhere to near what they were."
For this reason, he encouraged renters to lock in 12-month leases where possible.
On the other end of the market, inquires into properties over the $2 million market were "unprecedented".
"We're seeing a lot of people from the capital cities inquiring that would go on holidays overseas themselves and spend $50,000 or $100,000 on a holiday, and they can't do that, so they're looking at buying a house in the Whitsundays," he said.
"They're using the holiday money to invest in property."
Mr Beale hoped there would be flow-on effect as more affluent people bought property in the Whitsundays, saying they were more likely to spend money in shops and restaurants.
For property owners and those looking to buy, Mr Beale said the outlook for next year was strong.
"I think we're in for a positive 2021," he said.
"Interest rates will remain low and now is the time to get in."