DEVELOPMENT DROUGHT PUTS PRESSURE ON CHEAPER SURFERS RENTALS

Written on the 24 July 2014 by Nick Nichols

DEVELOPMENT DROUGHT PUTS PRESSURE ON CHEAPER SURFERS RENTALS

A LACK of new developments in the middle market is creating pockets of rental property shortage on the Gold Coast, according to LJ Hooker Surfers Paradise director Rick Graham (pictured).


Graham says the problem appears to be more acute in central Surfers Paradise for unfurnished apartments under $450 a week.


He says this is putting upward pressure on rental properties in the lower to mid-range of the market.


“Currently our enquiry rate is greater than supply in the unfurnished and mid to lower rental sector,” Graham says.


“This is mainly due to a general trend created by lack of new product in mid-level availability.


“The enquiry rate is on the rise and this has taken all the slack out of the middle market.


“The newer development properties available are all at the higher end of the rental market.”


While Ray White Surfers Paradise Group has not witnessed a shortage of rental properties, CEO Andrew Bell does concede a lack of development in recent years has contributed to an undersupply of affordable new apartments.


“We haven’t detected a shortage of rental properties in Surfers Paradise – in fact, at this time of year, landlords tend to bring their properties out of holiday letting and put them in the permanent pool,” says Bell.


“However, the lack of residential development on the Gold Coast in recent years has severely reduced the number of properties coming onto the market, whether for owner occupiers or tenants.


“Some would say we were in an oversupply situation a couple of years ago, and that was largely true, but this was at the top end – projects like Oracle, Hilton and Soul, which were never destined for the permanent rental market but for holidaymakers.


“There is demand for rental properties in Surfers Paradise – new, affordable apartments which have been undersupplied in recent years but which will come back to the market in this new development cycle.


“We find people tend to shy away from properties that are 30 or 40 years old, of which there are a lot in central markets like Surfers Paradise and Southport.


“There is certainly a market for new medium-density developments, such as three-storey walk ups, for permanent rental.”


Graham says despite the development lull experienced in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach in recent years, the light rail could turn the tourism hubs into new property hotspots.


He says there has been “more than average interest” in property development opportunities along the new transport corridor.


“As these properties come on line, the Surfers-Broadbeach corridor will become the new rental hotspot,” he says.


“The delivery of the light rail project makes it even more attractive to live along the route – Southport, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach – and there will be an increase in demand in these areas.”


LJ Hooker Surfers Paradise has ramped up its property team to cope with the rise in activity across its markets, appointing Liselle Harris as residential property manager and Cameron McPhie as residential sales manager.


Graham says the bolstered team will be seeking to replenish the agency’s rental stock.


Author: Nick Nichols

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