In Brisbane, population increases are putting growing pressure on vacancy rates, leaving some tenants with very few accommodation options. The popularity of the Brisbane area has seen a flux of residents moving closer to the business hub to take advantage of the affordability and accessibility of Brisbane’s growing infrastructure. According to Michael Matusik, “Inner Brisbane is attracting an average of around 5000 new permanent residents per annum and that’s expected to continue over the next decade, whereas in the 1990′s it was losing permanent residents”. This is evident in the Brisbane rental market, as the number of tenants inspecting family sized properties has increased by over 20% in some suburbs, compared with the same time last year. Draw cards in many of these suburbs is the prevalence of high performing schools, well connected public transport and overall rental affordability. The commencement of the new school and university year is also contributing to a tightness in the rental market, with pressure on families to get settled as school and university resumes for the year.
Some of the suburbs in the central Brisbane area, not only experiencing a rental market tightness, but also notable increases in rental returns include Paddington, Milton and Rosalie. These suburbs have seen rental increases of between 5.5% and 6% over the past two years. This western fringe of Brisbane is known to be harder to enter as a tenant, due to the under supply of rental properties, combined with higher levels of applicant competition on properties that do become available for rent.
Matusik mentions that “the change can be credited to a shift in demographics, with an increase in lone person households and couples without children in the precinct., who are looking for a lifestyle of convenience close to amenities and transport to the [Brisbane] CBD”.
Kelvin Grove is another Brisbane suburb that has experienced extreme Vacancy rate pressures in the past, likely to be caused by the nearby QUT Kelvin Grove campus. “Areas that have a desirable facility such as a university, school or commercial building, will naturally perform better for an investor expecting good rental return, than those that lack such facilities.” says Ray White property manager Kay Martin. Ms Martin has been working in the property management industry for over 5 years, with a focus on the the inner western suburbs of Brisbane. “Good [property managers] will keep a database of tenants and inform them straight away of properties that are coming up for rent – this gives tenants a fair go and makes sure that landlords minimise the vacancy period.” Ms Martin adds.