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Mining slump cools rental prices

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Rental prices in the Surat and Bowen basins have marginally decreased in some towns but are still higher than market price.

June quarter data showed rents have come down slightly in mining towns like Gladstone and Emerald but remain high in Roma.

A property report earlier this year commissioned by the Surat Basin Property Group said Western Downs communities were under huge rental pressures similar to Moranbah.

The report said there was residential accommodation shortage in the area and the situation would worsen as coal seam gas projects rose.

Queensland Shelter said the mining downturn is resulting in lower rental prices in mining towns, the ABC reported.

Mining companies are reducing profit outlooks, slashing jobs and deferring projects. But Queensland Shelter’s Adrian Pisarski said this may ease rental prices but the overall outlook will remain the same.

“We do expect as the mining boom settles back to some kind of production level that is sustainable that people will leave and that will ease pressure in some of these rental markets,” he said.

“But even if we get some easing, rents are still going to be considerably higher than they have been historically.”

Queensland Shelter said rental prices in the southern inland town of Roma remained high even as other mining town rental prices dipped.

Pisarski said construction in the gas industry is increasing housing demand.

“Roma, though, is probably the place that’s still hottest in terms of rental markets,” he said.

“Two-bedroom units have gone up by $70 [per week] in the last quarter and four bedroom houses up by $50 and if you look again over the last three years median rents in Roma have increased by 73 per cent.”

The mining downturn also affected Maitland in the Hunter Valley, with rental returns sliding in the past 12 months, according to research by PRDnationwide.

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