Emotions run high as renters struggle to find a home

GOLD Coast families fear they could be left homeless as the city’s rental market struggles to keep up with unprecedented demand from local and interstate tenants.

Emotions are reportedly running high as new rental listings are flooded with hundreds of inquiries and multiple applicants, leaving many desperate to keep a roof over head.

Harcourts Coastal managing director Dane Atherton said the high competition for rentals properties was causing stress for those who keep missing out.

"There’s a lot of emotion in rentals at the moment,” he said.

"A lot of people are worried they won’t find a home and sadly, only one tenant can be approved.

"It’s become very difficult for our property managers and much of the inquiry they’re dealing with is for properties that have already been rented.”


Rental properties are being snapped upon first inspection.

Family homes for rent are hard to come by in Sorrento and surrounding suburbs.

REIQ data shows rental vacancy rates tightened dramatically in the three months to September, plunging from a peak median of 10 percent in May down to 1.1 percent.

Most local agencies are reporting a vacancy rate of less than 1 percent, with a rate of 0-2.5 percent considered to be "tight”.


Cat Edwards has been searching non-stop for a rental to move into before the 30-day settlement period on her Sorrento family home is up.

Ms. Edwards has so far inquired on 15 rental properties, inspected four, and had another seven inspections lined up in Sorrento and surrounding suburbs this week.

"You really have to watch realestate.com.au every couple of hours and call as soon as anything is listed,” she said.

"We’ve got that added stress of only having two weeks left and we’ve got three kids.”

Ms. Edwards said she was forced to stretch their budget to find suitable properties and were offering above asking price in a bid to boost their chances.

"We’re offering more money, up to an extra $50 a week, to push our application forward,” she said.

"With so many applications coming in from well-financed people from Sydney and Melbourne, the competition is high.”

In Herron Todd White’s November review, Gold Coast director Janine Rockliff notes an increase in properties being leased at high rents to interstate arrivals.

"The Gold Coast continues to be perceived as a desirable sea change for many interstate buyers,” she noted.

"A review of recent rental listings on the Gold Coast indicates that there are currently some

premium rental prices being paid for large, prestige dwellings.”

REIQ chief executive Antonia Mercorella said about 70 percent of Queensland’s rental market was facing the tightest conditions since the Global Financial Crisis.

"Any further tightening in rental availability levels will only place additional undue pressures on our housing sector,” she said.

"More needs to be done to support increased and ongoing property investor activity in the Queensland property market and the contributions they make to the state economy.”


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Jason Gwerder
Friday, 20 November 2020

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