Property sales spike but rental crisis just gets worse as migrants return

Property sales in Queensland jumped by 57 per cent in the March quarter with the Sunshine Coast leading the way.

Apr 12, 2023, updated Apr 12, 2023
Buderim on the Sunshine Coast is the top-selling house market in the state. (Image: Sunshine Coast News).

Buderim on the Sunshine Coast is the top-selling house market in the state. (Image: Sunshine Coast News).

That was well below the national level of 62 per cent, which benefited from big increases in the ACT, Victoria and NSW.

The leading suburb in Queensland for house sales was Buderim, on the Sunshine Coast, but the data also showed there was a continuation of the drift to the water.

The Gold Coast dominated the unit sales list, having seven suburbs within the top 10, which was led by Surfers Paradise.

In housing, the top 10 suburbs also included Robina, Tewantin, Burleigh Waters and Noosaville while Capalaba and Thornlands, both in the Redlands, entered the list for the first time.

The report coincided with one from CoreLogic which showed the pain for renters was still strong.

Vacancy rates nationally were 1.1 per cent for the March quarter. In Brisbane the vacancy rate dropped slightly to 1.1 per cent and rents in the city increased by 1.8 per cent in the quarter, or 12.3 per cent for the past year.

The median rent for Brisbane is now $600 a week.

CoreLogic said the data showed there had been a reacceleration of demand for rental property as more migrants entered the country.

It said there had been an easing of demand in the second half of 2022, but that was reversed in the March quarter.

At a national level, rents had increased by $52 a week to $2727 a year.

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“The reacceleration of Australia’s rental market won’t be welcome news for those tenants already struggling to find affordable accommodation in our capital cities,” CoreLogic’s Kaytlin Ezzy said.

“There’s already a chronic undersupply of advertised rental stock in many parts of the country that’s translated into record low vacancy rates across most capitals.

“Such a low number of available rentals is a key factor that pushed rental values higher again in the quarter.”

She said that combined with the strongest overseas migration rate since the onset of Covid, the shortage in rental listings has seen the national vacancy rate tighten once again to a new record low of 1 per cent in February before nudging slightly higher to 1.1 per cent in March, down from 1.3 per cent in December.

The vacancy rate across the combined capitals fell to a new record low of 0.9 per cent in March, while the vacancy rate across regional Australia rose to 1.4 per cent.


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