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Hope for Green Shoots this Selling Season

By Andrew Allen

By KAT DONAGHEY

GLADSTONE’S slashed property prices are providing huge bargains for investors sniffing out opportunities in a tightening rental market. Agents are predicting green “shoots” of revival this spring as confidence in the market creeps back.

Some savvy investors are already snapping up cheap properties and renting them out at much higher returns. Gladstone’s slashed property prices are providing huge bargains for investors sniffing out opportunities in a tightening rental market.

Agents are predicting green “shoots” of revival this spring as confidence in the market creeps back.

Some savvy investors are already snapping up cheap properties and renting them out at much higher returns.

Ray White director John Fieldus gave three recent examples of units bought for a steal that were proving lucrative for the new landlords.

He said a young investor recently purchased a fully renovated one-bedroom unit at 24 Kent St for $60,000 – the previous owner paid $301,000 – and was now renting it out at $210 a week.

Two duplexes at 5 Douglas Ave, Sun Valley, picked up for $132,000 combined were now earn-ing $140 a week each in rent.

Another property with two duplexes, at 50 Aerodrome Road, Clinton, recently changed hands for $140,000 and was earning the new owner $140 weekly rent per apartment.

Mr Fieldus said the tight rental market was only going to send rents higher – by as much as 50 per cent.

“Rental rates are destined to climb.

“In all probability there’s another 40 per cent to 50 per cent of rental rate improvement to come,” he said.

Mr Fieldus said the severe slide in property prices that followed the unprecedented boom had rocked confidence in the market.

But with rental vacancy rates as low as 0.6 per cent on his books – and rent in Gladstone still cheaper than other towns – Mr Fieldus said now was the time to buy.

Between 2017 and 2019, Gladstone outperformed all other central Queensland cities in rent increases, based on Rental Tenancies Authority data.

“Two-bedroom units increased 27 per cent, three bedroom units increased 24 per cent and four-bedroom houses increased 17 per cent,” Mr Fieldus said.

“People have got to wake up and smell the roses. I have been in real estate for 30 years and I have seen nothing like this.

“There won’t be new building and development for years, and more people are moving back to Gladstone.

“Plus the mortgage-e-in-possession sales have pushed more people into the rental market.

“We are seeing an average of three to six tenants apply on every property.”

This story first appeared in the Gladstone Observer, 11th September 2019.

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