Mackay renters pay highest prices
YOU don’t have to tell those who rent in Mackay, Dysart and Moranbah how expensive it can be: most are already painfully aware they are paying some of the most expensive housing costs in Queensland.
However, new Residential Tenancy Authority data has confirmed it, with Queensland Shelter reporting significant rental inflation in mining areas including Mackay, Roma, Gladstone and Mt Isa.
The September quarter figures show Roma was hardest hit, with rents of four-bedroom homes increasing 18 per cent to $450 a week. Rents of Mackay four-bedroom homes increased two per cent to an average $460 a week – making them the third most expensive in the report.
However, the situation is much worse in Dysart and Moranbah, where four-bedroom homes rent for between $1000 to $1200, according to Vision Real Estate owner Darren Symons. Many of these homes would cost between $400,000 and $500,000 to buy, he said.
“The amount of rentals are very few and far between and when they do become available they’re snapped up very quickly,” Mr Symons said.
“There are substantial waiting times (sometimes more than a month).”
Mr Symons said there was substantial competition for rental homes in Mackay, pushing rents up.
“Vendors can pick and choose and there’s a lot of very good quality applicants who are missing out.
“People are willing to pay extra to secure a property.
“People (who own rental properties) are getting excellent returns.”
With the recent coal seam gas phenomenon expected to make the problem worse, Queensland Shelter spokesperson Kate Cowmeadow called for urgent affordable housing investment.
“The influx of people in mining regions forces up rents and risks displacing local households,” Ms Cowmeadow said.
“Low and moderate wage earners like teachers and retail workers, often the fabric of local communities, may get priced out.
“For people on fixed incomes, such as age and disability pensions, the inability to afford inflated rents could lead to displacement and homelessness. Many rural and regional areas do not currently have the infrastructure to assist people at risk of homelessness.”
Queensland Shelter believes mining companies and all levels of government must ensure access to affordable housing for all members of the community.
The Queensland Government recently announced Resource Town Housing Affordability programs in Moranbah, Roma and Blackwater.
However, Ms Cowmeadow said the data clearly illustrated a dramatic and immediate need for further investment.