Ray White Yeppoon Principal Debbie Lodwick.
Ray White Yeppoon Principal Debbie Lodwick. Ray White Rockhampton

Rental vacancies the best in a decade on the Cap Coast

IT'S slim pickings for anyone looking to rent on the Capricorn Coast, with the vacancy rate dropping to its lowest in more than a decade.

There were less than 80 properties listed for rent on realestate.com.au yesterday, with tenants already approved for several homes.

Ray White Yeppoon principal Debbie Lodwick yesterday said vacancy rates in Yeppoon and surrounds were the lowest they'd been since before the mining downturn and among the best she had seen during her three decades working in real estate on the Coast.

According to the latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland figures, the vacancy rate for Livingstone Shire Council dropped to 1 per cent in the March quarter.

That's down 1.1 per cent from 2.1 per cent in December and an improvement from 3.8 per cent for March 2018 quarter.

In comparison, Rockhampton is a 2 per cent for the March quarter, no change from December 2018.

Ms Lodwick said the REIQ figures were reflective of her own experience on the Coast lately, with the Ray White Yeppoon vacancy rate down to 0.8 per cent.

"It's really tight on the coast for rental properties and it really doesn't matter what price range,” she said.

Ms Lodwick said prospective tenants were filling out early applications for properties hitting the market in coming weeks and there was strong demand among people looking to make a lifestyle change with a beach move.

Economic stability has been the main driver for the tight rates, according to Ms Lodwick.

"I think the economy has been on the up and up for a while,” she said.

"There are more jobs around. Unemployment is way up from where it was five or six years ago.”

Ms Lodwick said there was a real mix of people moving from interstate and within Central Queensland.

As for whether this low rate would continue, Ms Lodwick said it was difficult to predict the future especially given the upcoming election.

She said changes in policy which may affect jobs could also influence the rental market.

"We need our primary industries in Yeppoon and Rockhampton to provide jobs,” Ms Lodwick said.

"If we've got a strong economy this will keep happening and to have a strong economy we need jobs.”

However, the strong rental market in Central Queensland has not yet triggered a recovery for the building industry.

New dwelling approvals for the region dropped back to 30 in February after recording a promising 48 new home approvals in January.