Chinchilla rental market showing strong signs of growth
CHINCHILLA'S topsy-turvy rental market is bouncing back, and real estate agents are hoping it's the sign of a more stable long-term future.
Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) statistics show the town's market vacancy rate has dropped to about 14% - a five per cent decrease from this year's January- March quarter.
There are about 215 properties advertised for rent, compared to 286 at the end of March.
While the rate is still high when compared to the rest of Queensland, Chinchilla real estate professionals and investors are happy with the progress after a tumultuous period.
"The most important positive we take out is how much the vacancy rate has dropped," Surat Basin Real Estate principal licensee Pam Moloney said.
The average weekly rent for a four bedroom Chinchilla home was $600 at the end of 2013. At the end of June 2015, it was $270.
"The rental prices rose very quickly, particularly around 2012-13, and they really needed to come back down to a moderate level, otherwise the town would not be affordable for day-to-day workers," Mrs Moloney said.
Surat Basin Real Estate director Warren Daniells said the resource industry's transition to the operation and maintenance phase was attracting more families to the region.
"People are getting long-term employment opportunities and seeing that it's worth moving the family rather than doing FIFO," he said.
"We could see a lot more of that as time progresses."
He said houses were proving more popular than units in Chinchilla's rental market.
Mrs Moloney hoped the worst of the property slump had been and gone.
"To have the vacancy rate around 20% at one stage was abysmal," she said.
"The feeling was despair for investors and desperation for the townspeople.
"Minimal construction over the past 12 months has certainly helped."
Things are slowly picking up in the buyers' market too, according to real estate specialist Warren Barker.
"In the past four months, we have seen these owner-occupiers showing confidence and returning to the market," he said.
"Many of the sales are in the lower end of the market, however just recently we have achieved a few sales of mid-priced properties."
Oct-Dec '14: 17.42%
Jan-Mar '15: 19.08%
Apr-Jun '15: 17.25%
August 2015: 14%