Courtney Snowden

News Corp Australia Network

This property at 45 Hale St, Townsville City, is for rent for $520 per week in a tight rental market. Picture:

The Townsville rental market remains under pressure in 2023 with rental properties becoming scarcer as tenants cough up more to lock down a home.

The latest PropTrack Market Insight report showed rents in the Townsville region increased 7 per cent last year, to $460 per week, and were up 4.5 per cent in the December quarter.

The median rent for a house was sitting at $490 per week, up 4.3 per cent for the quarter and 8.9 per cent for the year, while the median unit rent was $380, up 8.6 per cent for the quarter and 7 per cent for the year .

PropTrack senior economist and report author, Angus Moore said in regional Queensland as a whole, rents only increased by 0.9 per cent for the quarter.

“Even so, median advertised rents rose 11.5 per cent in the past year and currently sit at $580 per week, making regional Queensland the equal most expensive regional market alongside regional WA.”

The property at 25 Dahlia St, Burdell, is available to rent for $500 per week. Picture:

The PropTrack report showed the Townsville vacancy rate had dropped 0.17 percentage points in 2023 to sit at 1.25 per cent.

There was a slight easing of the market in December with the vacancy rate up from 0.93 per cent in November.

In comparison, the vacancy rate was 0.84 per cent in regional Queensland and 0.9 per cent in Brisbane.

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Jools Munro, of Explore Property Munro & Co, said many Townsville real estate agencies would have experienced a 0 per cent vacancy rate in the past 12 months.

“The market has been hot,” she said.

“Applications are still flowing through and landlords are getting a choice of good applicants.”

Jools Munro of Explore Property Munro & Co.

Ms Munro said she noticed more properties turning over compared to a year ago, likely due to rising rents.

“This is a natural turnover period in the Townsville market,” he said.

“Last year (real estate) businesses didn’t experience a great deal of vacates, whether that was because tenants could negotiate a slightly cheaper rent by staying or because they were avoiding a hot market.

“But before Christmas and into January this year we were experiencing more turnover.

“For someone who was to find something more modest and affordable.”

Ms Munro said the Townsville rental market would remain tight through 2024.

“There is no doubt we’ll see population growth,” she said.

“The health sector has more staff relocating here, police have new recruits coming through and people are still making the move from down south.

“And there’s the 500 military personnel … migrating to Townsville, which doesn’t include families and support staff.

“I can’t see how builders are going to keep up with what is required to house everyone.”