Property Buzz

Money & market

Queensland’s rental market remains in crisis as vacancy rates hit record lows


Queensland’s rental market continues to face a severe shortage of available properties, with the latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) Residential Vacancy Report revealing dangerously low vacancy rates across the state in the March 2024 quarter.

Of the 50 local government areas and sub-regions covered in the report, 22 experienced falling vacancy rates, 10 remained stable, and 18 saw a slight increase compared to the previous quarter.

However, these movements were limited to a modest 0.2% change in most cases, indicating no significant improvement in the rental market.

Only one area, Mount Isa (3.4%), had a vacancy rate within the “healthy” range of 2.6 to 3.5%, as classified by the REIQ.

More than half of the areas reported vacancy rates of 1% or below, with the overall state vacancy rate sitting at a critically low 0.9%.

Goondiwindi (0%), Charters Towers (0.1%), and Cook (0.1%) recorded the lowest vacancy rates in the state.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said, “Another quarter and it’s sadly the same old story of seriously scant rental availability right across Queensland.”


“This is not a pattern that any of us want to be seeing, report after report, but it is the reality for so many renters looking for rental housing in our state.”

Ms Mercorella highlighted the challenges faced by both renters and property managers in this highly competitive market, with renters needing to start their search early and property managers overwhelmed by the volume of applications.

She emphasized the need for government support in the form of social housing and rental assistance to help the most vulnerable in the community.

“At the same time, the longer-term solutions including a concerted effort towards improving productivity and affordability of the construction of new dwellings are essential to fixing this supply issue,” Ms Mercorella added.

While the REIQ acknowledges that build-to-rent initiatives could play a role in boosting supply, they believe that private investors should receive the same incentives as institutional investors, recognizing their crucial role in housing Queenslanders.

Regional centres like Mackay (0.6%), Rockhampton (0.7%), Toowoomba (0.8%), and Bundaberg (0.9%) remained among the tightest rental markets, while Greater Brisbane was consistent with the state vacancy rate at 0.9%.

Tourism markets such as Gold Coast (1.0%), Sunshine Coast (0.7%), and Cairns (0.7%) remained virtually unchanged compared to the previous quarter.

The REIQ classifies rental markets into three categories based on vacancy rates: tight (0-2.5%), healthy (2.6-3.5%), and weak (3.6% and above).

With the vast majority of the state falling into the tight category, it is clear that Queensland’s rental market is in dire need of relief and long-term solutions to address the critical shortage of available properties.

Previous post
Next post
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *