The REIQ have listed attractive property prices, strong demand from tenants, and improving confidence as the catalyst for more investors in the property market.
‘‘After being in hibernation for most of 2011, investors are starting to return to the market with REIQ accredited agencies also reporting a more buoyant mood since about November,’’ REIQ CEO, Anton Kardash, said.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics housing finance figures for November found the number of investors in Queensland increased by more than 16 per cent over the month. This return to investor activity, while still slightly below historical averages, is also being driven by the lower interest rate environment that is now in play.
‘‘These tentative signs of recovery, however, can only be sustained if confidence levels continue to improve. The key to this is having an interest rate regime that reflects and supports the economic reality of the majority of businesses in Australia,” Mr Kardash said.
There continues to be strong demand from tenants across Queensland with the latest REIQ residential rental survey finding vacancy rates tightening in many areas as at the end of December.
Residential Tenancy Authority (RTA) December median rents were steady for most regions although as expected resource centres continue to record strong rental growth. REIQ vacancy rates show Mackay overtaking Gladstone as the region with the lowest vacancy rate across the state with the resources boom continuing to attract families to the area.
REIQ vacancy rates remained steady for the Brisbane City local government area (LGA) although this was a mix of slightly tighter conditions for the outer suburbs while the inner suburbs have eased since the end of September. Agents from REIQ accredited agencies reported vacancy periods averaging about one to two weeks, with up to five applicants per listing. The Brisbane LGA vacancy rate was 2.3 per cent, while inner Brisbane recorded 1.9 per cent. A vacancy rate of 3 per cent is generally considered to be the equilibrium point of demand and supply.
The Moreton Bay region fared better than other Greater Brisbane regions, posting a decrease in its vacancy rate to 2.7 per cent at the end of December, although median rents remained unchanged according to REIQ.
However, Gerrie Bowden, principal of Moreton Bay Regional Real Estate, said she has experienced a slowdown in investor interest and rental curiosity since the Reserve Bank’s decision to hold interest rates.
“Earlier this year we were experiencing a slight increase in activity but since the RBA met and the banks now putting up interest rates it has been very slow,” she told Real Estate Business.
“The rental market has quieted a lot as well. This type of thing tends to go in a cycle. Overall our market has been very quiet of late.”
Source : Real Estate Business Bulletin (13 February 2012)