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Most property experts held a sense of cautious optimism leading into 2014. With first quarter results now in, this seems to have been a sensible perspective.
Gold Coast experiences lowest vacancy rate in 10 years
The Gold Coast is in the midst of its lowest vacancy rate for more than a decade, having halved to 2.3% in the last two years. This will work in favour of property investors looking to align their rents with a tighter market.
Meanwhile, the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) have reported rising vacancy rates in Inner Brisbane - increasing to 4.1% at the end of 2013 - with blame being placed on a surplus of new apartments marketed in the last quarter of the year.
Nonetheless, both cities have seen strong annual improvements with Brisbane and Gold Coast weekly rents increasing by +0.8% and +3.8% respectively (Source: SQM Research).
Rental Express out-performing the market once again
Here at Rental Express, we are once more delighted to report that our offices are renting properties more quickly and at higher prices than the industry average (based on data supplied by RentFind.com.au). Our Gold Coast office has been a recent stand-out performer, with recent figures showing properties renting 46.1% quicker than the industry average of 14.1 days.
Rental yields remain flat for Brisbane
More broadly, SQM Research reported flat rental yields for Inner Brisbane, with houses yielding 4% and units averaging 4.7%. Similarly, Gold Coast investors have seen yields on units rising to around 5.3% (+0.1%) and yields on houses dipping slightly to around 4.7% (-0.2%).
While these figures are tipped to dip a little further, Andrew Wilson, senior economist at Australian Property Monitors, expects Brisbane to be one of Australia’s hottest markets this year, as it catches up with the growth seen in Sydney and Melbourne last year.
There is still a lot of catching up to do though, with Brisbane's median housing prices at $480,000, compared to $765,000 in Sydney. This could be just what South-East Queensland needs to attract investors looking for value - bearing in mind that it's not uncommon for Brisbane to lag 12 to 18 months behind Sydney property prices.
Brisbane suburbs tipped as Australia's best for family living
It's also promising to see a good showing of Brisbane suburbs in RP Data’s list of the Top 100 Australian Suburbs For Family Living, in which Morayfield and The Gap are placed within the top 10 (Kenmore, Eatons Hill and Albany Creek were also listed in the top 25).
With all this in mind, 2014 is shaping up to be a strong year for Brisbane and Gold Coast property investors.
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By Simon Waide, Rental Express