Dalby renters ‘lining up out the door’ for properties
A SURGE in demand for rental properties in Dalby has “renters lining up out the door”, as the town’s real estate agents reveal the spike in inerest has been a result of the economic turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Statistics from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) revealed a number of rental markets across Queensland experienced shocks to supply and demand over the last six months.
Queensland’s latest quarterly rental vacancy rates show 100 per cent of the State’s regions have experienced a drop in vacancies, with 96 per cent falling within a tight rental inventory range (0-2.5 per cent) and 4 per cent within a healthy rental inventory range (2.5-3.5 per cent) or above.
1 Property Centre principal agent Peter Forbes said his business has experienced a rapid reduction in rental vacancies in Dalby, compared to 2019.
“We’ve had properties in Toowoomba as well, and the changes have been significant this year,” he said.
“People are lining up out the door to look at rental properties.”
Mr Forbes said property sales have picked up, however there haven’t been houses to take their place.
“We’ve got less houses on the market than we’ve had in the last 10 years,” he said.
“I can’t explain it, but it’s clear COVID-19 hasn’t been good for selling houses, only for people wanting to rent.”
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said the quarterly vacancy rate retracting from 2.44 per cent to 1.49 per cent in the last three months is the first time since coronavirus began that every market was showing growth, as vacancy rates continue to shrink.
“Needless to say our rental market is under enormous pressure with around 90 per cent of the State now experiencing extremely tight conditions,” she said.
“The pandemic has definitely caused a shift for a lot of people in not only the way they want to live but where they want to live.”
A Dalby real estate agent, who wished to remain anonymous, said due to the unpredictable nature of the virus, people were “afraid to buy”.
“You can see even in Dalby we haven’t had any cases of coronavirus, but people are still frightened, and they’re not going to move while this is happening,” he said.
“So instead of buying, they’re renting, which is accounting for low vacancies.
“It’s simply safer to rent than it is to buy.”
Mrs Mercorella said the first quarter results of this year suggested vacancy rates provided an optimistic start to the year, and further quarters would reveal more about the true impact of coronavirus on Queensland.
“Nobody could have predicted the extreme conditions our rental market is currently facing,” she said.
“Of particular concern for the future is the high incidence of affordability problems among low-income and older renters, cohorts that are projected to increase in the next two decades as a result of the effects of those currently excluded from home ownership. “
There are currently five active cases of coronavirus in Queensland, with no new cases recorded today.