Ipswich Vacancies Tighten

By the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) CEO Antonia Mercorella

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The secret’s out – Ipswich is a great place to live and people are coming here to rent a property and enjoy the great community, as proven by the REIQ’s Residential Vacancy Report released last week.

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The report which gave the latest vacancy rate statistics for the December 2021 Quarter revealed that Ipswich is experiencing the tightest vacancy rates it’s had in the history of the report – now at a mere 0.9{416f1f5c7a203fe63a46bf082b58feb26f91befb8fc9f4680189d6e9c71a298c}.

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To put this in perspective, the REIQ classifies rental markets into three categories, tight, healthy, or weak and anything between a 2.6{416f1f5c7a203fe63a46bf082b58feb26f91befb8fc9f4680189d6e9c71a298c} – 3.5{416f1f5c7a203fe63a46bf082b58feb26f91befb8fc9f4680189d6e9c71a298c} vacancy rate is considered a “healthy” rental market, anything below 2.5{416f1f5c7a203fe63a46bf082b58feb26f91befb8fc9f4680189d6e9c71a298c} is “tight”.

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When a market is tight, it is an indication that supply levels (rental properties) are not keeping up with demand (prospective tenants).

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Ipswich has been tracking tighter and tighter from the September 2019 Quarter onward when it was sitting at 2.9{416f1f5c7a203fe63a46bf082b58feb26f91befb8fc9f4680189d6e9c71a298c}. Compare that to now, and we can see that throughout 2021, Ipswich has been tight but fairly stable around 0.9 – 1.0{416f1f5c7a203fe63a46bf082b58feb26f91befb8fc9f4680189d6e9c71a298c} mark.

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However, Ipswich is certainly not alone in this trend. Logan has also been hovering around 1.0{416f1f5c7a203fe63a46bf082b58feb26f91befb8fc9f4680189d6e9c71a298c}, while Pine Rivers (0.8{416f1f5c7a203fe63a46bf082b58feb26f91befb8fc9f4680189d6e9c71a298c}), Redland (0.7{416f1f5c7a203fe63a46bf082b58feb26f91befb8fc9f4680189d6e9c71a298c}), Moreton Bay (0.7{416f1f5c7a203fe63a46bf082b58feb26f91befb8fc9f4680189d6e9c71a298c}), Caboolture (0.6{416f1f5c7a203fe63a46bf082b58feb26f91befb8fc9f4680189d6e9c71a298c}), Redcliffe (0.6{416f1f5c7a203fe63a46bf082b58feb26f91befb8fc9f4680189d6e9c71a298c}) are even tighter still.

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In fact, of the 50 local government areas and sub regions the REIQ reports on, the only areas that tipped into the “healthy” range during 2021 were within Greater Brisbane – including Brisbane’s inner city (0-5km) at 2.8 per cent (in Mar Qtr) followed by the Bay Islands at 2.7 per cent (in Dec Qtr).

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So why are there so few rental properties right now? We’re experiencing the perfect storm of low housing supply levels, incredibly high interstate and intrastate migration particularly to our regions, longer length tenancies as tenants choose to stay put for greater security and certainty, and fewer co-tenancy arrangements as people want more space now they’re working from home.

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Our local REIQ Zone Chair for Ipswich, Andrew Kenman, says the western corridor and Greater Ipswich area is attracting new residents from southern states as well as people relocating from Brisbane due to its liveability and lifestyle factors.

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“The Greater Ipswich area is perceived as an affordable and safer alternative than other areas in Australia and our lifestyle, again has so much to offer with options such as country and city zones within minutes of each other and of course our famous beaches a short drive away,” Mr Kenman said.

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“Infrastructure continues to develop, within areas such as Ripley and Springfield with a new Railway corridor, major shopping centres, and new schools to name a few of these big-ticket items.

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“All combined this offers major attributes that both families and investors look for renting and or buying. This is driving population growth in this area and is contributing to the tightening rental market.”

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So, what does this mean? Well, it means that those who are looking for a rental property are going to have to be prepared to move swiftly to secure a new home. If you’re a renter on the hunt for a property, perhaps make sure you go to inspections with all your paperwork ready – bank statements proving you can service the rent, referees establishing your credentials as a good tenant, and proof of employment.

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Our forecast is these rental market conditions are likely to continue. Ipswich is benefiting from a range of projects and the subsequent lure of jobs and liveability will create a boost to the region.

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We are also expecting to see positive impact on the sales market, with house prices rising over the next medium term (as across most of Queensland) as a direct result of these improved economic factors.

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