Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Property Point

No market is the same but there is one aspect of the housing market that is very similar no matter where you live in this country.

That is rental vacancies. It’s tight out there and there’s very little for tenants to pick and choose from.

Rental vacancies have been extremely low, we’re talking under 1 per cent, in Mackay for some time now.

The lack of available rentals in Mackay means that those who are renting are finding their rent goes up on a fairly regular basis, typically every six months unless the lease is longer than that.

And the picture is also bleak for those people who are moving to Mackay. There is very little available and it can be pretty stressful planning to move to a new city when there appears to be nothing available to rent.

Many of those people end up buying rather than going through the tried-and-true process of renting for six months, settling in and then buying something once you are established.

But while tenants in Mackay have been doing it tough for a while, it is interesting to see that the low vacancy rate is a national phenomenon.

Statistics put out recently by the property management software company propertyme, using information sourced from the Reserve Bank and SQM Research, found that Mackay is not the Lone Ranger, with rental vacancies around 1 per cent throughout the country.

This time last year, Sydney’s rental vacancies were at 2.3 per cent, now it is at 1.3 per cent. In the same 12-month period, Melbourne’s rental vacancies have dropped from 3.3 per cent to 1.2 per cent.

Brisbane is .8 per cent, Hobart is .7, Adelaide .5 and Perth .4 per cent. Of the capital cities, Canberra has the highest rental vacancies at 1.6 per cent, hardly a glut of empty rental properties.

So, no matter where you live, it is tough out there for tenants.

I am sorry if you are a tenant with no option but to keep renting because I know it is tough and doesn’t look like getting any easier. I know it doesn’t help in any way but the situation is the same pretty much wherever you live and not just a Mackay issue.

It is worth noting that there are still opportunities for some tenants, those who have a job and are able to get a deposit together to buy something cheap.

Units are still affordable. I recently sold a nice two-bedroom, well-presented unit in North Mackay for $200,000. With a 10 per cent deposit, your mortgage is less than you would be paying in rent for the same property.

I sold a two-bedroom unit in East Gordon St recently for $174,000. It needed a bit of a freshen-up, some new carpet and a coat of paint but that could be done cheaply, and the buyer ended up with a stake in the Mackay market and paying a mortgage much lower than the rent he would have been paying for the same unit.

I know this is not possible for everyone but a young person with a job and a 10 per cent deposit can break into the Mackay market by buying a unit, use that as a stepping stone and forget about paying rent.

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