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Sunshine Coast low vacancy rate is causing a rental crisis in the community.

Sunshine Coast low vacancy rate is causing a rental crisis in the community.

We are seeing all over the news stories and reports about the booming housing and rental market in the Sunshine Coast and there are pros and contra to this situation, depending on your financial situation.

For those looking for a rental home, the options are minimal, the timeframes for applications super-fast, and the costs are increasing. For the first time, there are much facing homelessness due to the lack of available housing.

For property investors, there’s never been a better time to invest in property with rents rising, property values rising and interest rates super low.  More importantly, people are crying out for somewhere to live and investors could be their solution.

Based on the properties advertised for rent so far in 2021 the average is:

  • 100 enquiries per property,
  • 40 applications to rent per property,
  • Creating an effective 0% vacancy rate.
  • This is the most demand we have seen on the Sunshine Coast, ever.

Rents (fewer anomalies and new managements) have increased on average >10%pa. and several in very high demand areas have increased 20%. Where media reports an increase in the average rental rate from $450 per week to $500 per week, we’ve already seen a rise to $550 per week.

Additionally, holiday property has over 80% occupancy rate during a traditionally quiet period following the school holidays, with more people turning to short-stay letting while they try to find a permanent rental.

This is a housing crisis with an imbalance of supply and demand of rental property, and the conditions seem to, unfortunately, improve any time soon. 

What’s the solution?

The immediate is about crisis management, about the Sunshine Coast community coming together to provide alternative solutions.

The planning of this region needs to allow for increased density and infill development because the time it takes to roll out new green-field sites, even fast-tracked, is unlikely to give us any immediate relief.

What we need is the shortening of red tape and realistic practical application of how we maintain our culture and environment while also providing solutions through more dual occupancy arrangements, increased density in appropriate areas and increased building heights in reasonable locations.

More duplexes, triplexes and quadplexes will allow more affordable housing alternatives for both owner-occupiers, first home buyers and for those seeking rentals. This will enable more people to live in this community without clearing more land for homes.

The Sunshine Coast already has a shortage of hospitality staff but is experiencing incredible demand from tourists despite the restriction on international and some domestic travel. In order to enable the economy to thrive and to service the number of residents and tourists already here and planning to come, more hospitality (and other) staff are required but there’s little choice of affordable accommodation for them to live.

This isn’t about rich investors, developers, councils etc, those who come and those who should and those who shouldn’t. It’s about us being a community, seeking justice, fairness and the equality of right to live how and where our community and culture support everyone according to their affordability to support a thriving and vibrant Sunshine Coast that we are renowned for and seek to protect. Protection is not tantamount to ‘no change’.

What is happening here is a 5-10 year challenge and for investors, that’s a massive opportunity to build wealth and be part of the solution for the community. On Sunshine Coast there is no short or medium-term solution – it’s likely to be exacerbated. Save for a highly unlikely, immediate curbing of growth or planning and red tape changes, we can’t even see a change in the medium term.

This is a historical event, it’s not a ‘boom’ in the traditional sense. 



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