Property managers are fielding a very high number of applicants wanting to find a house to rent (file image).
Property managers are fielding a very high number of applicants wanting to find a house to rent (file image).

Why Lockyer renters are finding it impossible to get a home

THE Lockyer Valley rental market is experiencing a shock to supply and demand, with property availabilities falling below one per cent.

Despite a lull during the coronavirus outbreak, real estate agencies are reporting a dramatic increase in people searching for rental properties in the region.

Jemma Wood, senior property portfolio manager at Lockyer Valley Real Estate said the number of applications for each available property has tripled.

“We have nothing vacant at the moment. As soon as we advertise properties, we are getting multiple applications, and they are coming through before people have done viewings,” Ms Wood said.

“Before they are even vacant we are re-leasing them.”

Queensland’s latest quarterly rental vacancy shows the entire state has experienced a drop in vacancies, with 96 per cent falling within a tight rental inventory range (0 to 2.5 per cent availability).

In the Lockyer Valley, the market has dropped from 3.2 per cent to 0.6 per cent, with similar results also in Toowoomba.

Ms Wood said the market had tightened in the past month.

She believed the easing of coronavirus restrictions had created a surge in demand for rental properties.

“Because there was a pause on everything for so long no one was moving,” she said.

“During COVID, we had no one moving, now we’re on the other side we are seeing a lot of movement.”

Prior to COVID, LVRE was averaging about two applications per house listing.

Ms Wood said the Plainland business was now receiving at least five applications per property.

She said the highest number of applications for one house was eight.

Landlords are also benefiting from the surge in applications.

“Landlords are getting a better choice and better quality of tenants because they don’t have just one application that they have to pick to keep their house tenanted,” Ms Wood said.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland CEO Antonia Mercorella said the market was under enormous pressure.

“The pandemic has definitely caused a shift for a lot of people in not only the way they want to live but where they want to live, and it seems South-East Queensland is our biggest beneficiary these last three months,” she said.