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Rents have soared by 32 per cent during the past 12 months

Low vacancy rates across the Gold Coast have spurred landlords to demand higher rents.

Asking rents have soared by 32 per cent during the past 12 months to an average of $744 a week for houses, and a 14 per cent increase to unit rental prices, up to an average of $515 a week, according to SQM Research data.

SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said the tightening rental market trend was likely to continue in the lifestyle regions.

“We are seeing a surge in rents as vacancies drop on the Gold Coast and on the NSW North Coast … as people migrate out of the capital cities and move to regional and warmer locations,” he said.

“On the Gold Coast asking rents have soared by 32 per cent for houses and 14 per cent for units during the year.”

Choice Homes Construction Manager Steve Bignill says more needs to be done to ensure a supply of shovel ready land developments to South East Queensland.

"It's no surprise that South East Queensland is a popular location for interstate migration, but we need to collectively take a look at where our next land supply is coming from... not all builders are like Choice, with a land bank that can keep producing new communities." he said.

"While it's an advantage for us, we want to help the challenging task at hand, and hope that all builders can enjoy a steady supply of land to build on.

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Nationally the residential rental vacancy rate dropped to 1.9 per cent in April from 2.1 per cent in March which SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said was surprising.

“The fall in national vacancies is surprising given there has been record first home buyer activity and strong dwelling completions relative to the population expansion,” Christopher said.

“Demand for rental accommodations is still outstripping supply, which has the effect of boosting rents in many locations (making it) unaffordable to lower-income tenants.”

Christopher said along with other smaller capital cities, Brisbane’s vacancy rate had also become “extremely tight” and renters should expect a surge in rental asking prices.

“Suburban vacancy rates continue to fall and that is now encompassing inner-suburban regions,” he said.

“In contrast, rates for Melbourne and Sydney CBDs remain elevated with the loss of international student tenants combined with apartment oversupply.

“These were just about the only areas recording rises in vacancy rates.”

Perth and Darwin have also experienced a bump in rental asking prices thanks to the commodities boom. Source: The Urban Developer.