Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Some Feel the Pinch as Rents Increase

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Some Feel the Pinch as Rents Increase

Article excerpt

SUNSHINE Coast landlords are continuing to enjoy a golden run, with new figures showing a vacancy rate for rental properties of just 1.9%.

But while it's good news for investors and the local economy, the lack of vacancies is making it difficult for people looking for a place to live.

The figures released by the REIQ showed the Sunshine Coast's market had loosened by 0.8% but was still the third tightest in the state, behind the Gold Coast and Moreton Bay (both 1.3%).

At the other end of the scale, Mackay had a 9.4% vacancy rate as the mining boom evaporated.

The figures were released as the annual Anglicare rental affordability snapshot confirmed a widespread failure of the private rental market to service the needs of regional Australians on low incomes.

WHILE REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella welcomed the figures as good news for local economies, the Anglicare report showed only 7.3% of all 14,000 regional rental properties on the market last week were affordable for those on the minimum wage.

The results for single parents were even worse, revealing those on parenting payments in regional areas had to compete for just 3.7% of all advertised properties.

Those on Newstart could afford just 0.6% of the properties available.

"This (the new figures) is a strong indicator that other sectors of the economy may be rebounding, and we are buoyed by this news," Ms Mercorella said.

Lynn Kalwy, of Kennedy Property at Pacific Paradise, said older tenants on fixed incomes were feeling the rental squeeze as landlords raised rates to reflect increased demand and sharp rises in insurance premiums following recent natural disasters.

While retirees and older people were the best tenants, Ms Kalwy said those on pensions could afford to pay only so much.

"The public housing is not there like it used to be and it is becoming a struggle," she said. "There is not much there for them after rent. …

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