RENTAL SQUEEZE: REIQ Bundaberg zone chair Le-Anne Allan and Bundaberg Property Gallery principal Toni Kutchin.
RENTAL SQUEEZE: REIQ Bundaberg zone chair Le-Anne Allan and Bundaberg Property Gallery principal Toni Kutchin. Mike Knott BUN220318REALESTATE4

Bundy's rental shortage is bad news for tenants

IN A red-hot Bundaberg rental market, renters are filling out applications in the hope that a suitable property will become available.

Bundaberg Property Gallery principal Toni Kuchtin said she'd expected the vacancy rate to ease after the December/January period, but the tight race to secure a rental wasn't slowing down.

"We've got people walking through our doors asking to fill out application forms in case properties come up in the near future because they can't find what they're looking for," she said.

"When we put a property on the internet, say we put it up today, by tomorrow we'll have 20 people wanting to view it.

"It's been happening since December and we thought it would slow down, but it hasn't."

The comments came after figures released in the latest Queensland Market Monitor showed the Bundaberg rental market was the best performer in regional Queensland.

Vacancies tightened from the weak range of 4 per cent in September to the tight range of 1.7 per cent in December.

According to the report, local property managers have noted an influx of medical profession tenants relocating to Bundaberg as the key driver for the higher rents.

Ms Kuchtin said the low vacancy rates seems to be a combination of a number of factors including a lot of rental properties being sold , less actual numbers of properties being rented, and increasing numbers of renters moving to Bundaberg from the south.

She said, as a result, some renters were taking properties "sight unseen".

Ms Kuchtin said they currently only had two properties available for rent and were crying out for more.

"We need more, we need investors to start buying more rental properties," she said.

While REIQ Bundaberg zone chair Le-Anne believes that vacancy rates might not be quite as tight as in the last quarter, it was still an investor's market.

"We're also seeing new renters with buyers coming up from the Gold Coast and renting before they buy, a 'try before you buy' type situation," she said

"That's a different demography."

While the vacancy rates is bad news for renters, it's good news for rental home owners, who were demanding higher rental returns and able to be "picky" when it came to choosing tenants.

Ms Kuchtin said when rental vacancy rates were tight it was even more important for renters to maintain a good history as landlords could afford to hold out for tenants with great references.



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