Coast population boom driving surge in rental demand

THE Gold Coast is in the midst of a population boom, and that’s being reflected in tight vacancy rates across the housing market, according to Ray White Surfers Paradise Group (RWSP).

The Gold Coast largest real estate agency is currently experiencing vacancies of about 1.4 per cent across its rental portfolio of more than 2800 properties. This compares with a 3 per cent vacancy rate generally accepted for a balanced market.

“Demand for rental accommodation has never been stronger and that’s a clear signal of the migration levels we are experiencing on the Gold Coast,” said RWSP CEO Andrew Bell.

“Normally it takes anything up to a year to get a clear picture from official figures of this migration, but this is an early indication of the pace of growth of our population.

“While the city is expecting a bumper holiday season this year, and more to come with the Commonwealth Games just around the corner, more people are choosing to live here as well.

“It’s a symptom of two factors. First is the Coast’s improving jobs market, diversifying economy and our status as a sought-after lifestyle destination. Secondly, the cost of housing in Sydney and Melbourne has become so unaffordable that it is forcing people to relocate to a city such as the Gold Coast.

“That’s drawing more people north of the border, a trend that has strengthened over the past year particularly with movements out of Sydney.”

RWSP recorded more than 6500 inquiries for rental properties in November, up more than 40 per cent from the same month in 2016. There had been months throughout the year where inquiries had been more than 7000 for a month.

“The strength of demand even spilled into December, which is traditionally a lot quieter for rentals,” Mr Bell said.

“Some of our rental properties are being inspected by up to 20 people a day. In select areas, such as Benowa, we’ve seen rents rise by as much as $150 a week over the past year.”

Mr Bell said properties renting from $350 to $500 were the most sought after, however luxury homes of $1000 or more per week are now proving increasingly popular.

“The right home can find a tenant for $1000 a week fairly quickly, which is reflective of migration levels from south. These tenants view these homes as reasonable value compared to their home market.”

The latest rental figures elevated RWSP to the number one position in Queensland for the Ray White Group for the three months to November.

Of the 6500-plus inquiries for rental properties received by RWSP in November, the group secured 2000 registrations to rent which ultimately led to the receipt of 480 tenancy applications for the month.

“Whilst we achieved 99 new managements in November we are on a major drive to help build the stock of additional new rental properties to assist those desperately looking for properties at present,” Mr Bell said.

“I am really proud of our team who are genuinely driving hard to find as many new properties as possible to accommodate this growth.

“With record low interest rates the yields on rental properties are the best they have been in over 20 years and with the ability to lock in fixed rates these outstanding yields will continue for a long time to come.

“It is a win-win for both the investor and for the tenant who so desperately need places to rent.”

November’s rent roll bump came on the back of a record $143 million in group sales for RWSP in November. The figure topped the previous monthly record of $137 million achieved in July this year.