What makes Ipswich a hotspot for renters
IPSWICH has continued to be a property hotspot for young families and former owner occupiers to snap up a rental bargain, with the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) revealing the city has recorded the biggest reduction in rental stock across the Greater Brisbane region.
The latest figures from the REIQ's first three-monthly quarter (January 1 to March 31) revealed a 0.8 per cent dip to a 2 per cent inventory in rental stock.
Despite the perceived effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Queensland's overall quarterly vacancy rate is sitting steady at 2.44 per cent. This is a marginal increase of 0.1 per cent from the last quarter's 2.34 per cent.
REIQ zone chairman for the Ipswich Greater Region Glenn Ball said this was "encouraging figures" for the city, with more people choosing to live in Ipswich due to its housing affordability.
"We have seen a steady increase in rental applications, as well as fielding multiple applications for each rental property," he said.
"We are also seeing a good range of quality tenants applying for rental properties. There has been a lot of interest from not only Ipswich locals, but also people closer to Brisbane.
"They realise they can get the same type of property out here for a much cheaper price and commute for work.
"They don't want to be paying the higher rent in Brisbane."
Rental vacancy rates also fell in other regions, with the Lockyer Valley recording a 1.8 per cent drop over two quarters to 3.2 per cent.
It was a similar tune in Toowoomba, recording a 1.2 per cent decrease to a 1.2 per cent average vacancy rate.
Both Logan and Moreton Bay saw subtle rises.
Mr Ball predicts Ipswich will continue to record strong figures in the property sector this year, especially when more coronavirus restrictions are eased and more people can inspect homes.
"I do think this trend is going to continue in 2020 because Ipswich is in a very unique position," he said.
"I expect we will see more properties come onto the market, which will be good news for investors."
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REIQ chief executive officer Antonia Mercorella said the market was responding well in the first quarter of 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic which gripped the country at the beginning of the year.
"There's no uncertainty that 2020 will be a difficult year for the economy," Ms Mercorella said.
"However, what is certain is if you to listen to what market naysayers are currently saying, you'd believe the property market is on the verge of complete collapse and rental vacancies are beyond ruin.
"What they fail to tell you is that they're pitching dire worst-case scenarios where coronavirus restrictions are prolonged and a second wave of the disease occurs.
"When stacked up against credible sources and empirical evidence, it's clear these kinds of predictions don't reflect what's really happening in Queensland real estate."
Median prices for the rental market for three bedroom houses, as outlined in the REIQ Queensland Market Monitor for March
Ipswich City: $320
Logan City: $345
Moreton Bay Regional: $370
Redland City: $405
Lockyer Valley Regional: $298
Somerset Regional: $320