As published by Herron Todd White Valuers
The Toowoomba rental market appears to have stabilised after vacancy rates fluctuated between 3% and 4% between January 2016 and January 2017 following an apparent oversupply of investor driven new housing and unit product. Since a large exit of absentee investors and cooling of the market, vacancy rates have continued to fall to a more comfortable rate of 2.6% as at September 2017. This could be a result of less new product being brought to the market and a gradual taking up of new properties. Additionally, the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project is well underway, employing approximately 700 people. With many based locally, anecdotal evidence suggests that a many of these employees occupy a number of rental properties and are contributing to the current lower vacancy rate. This may be proven once the Range Crossing is completed at the end of 2018.
Toowoomba and surrounding suburbs have a very diverse rental market with a large range of rental properties in all areas and at varying price ranges. The unit rental market varies anywhere from $160 to $450 per week depending on size and location. The housing rental market can vary anywhere from $180 to $700 per week. Having such a diverse rental market naturally means a diverse range of tenants and household types ranging from students accessing the University of Southern Queensland, patients of the three hospitals, workers of the recent and current development projects, families relocating for the range of schooling available and workers and professionals.
There is no obvious market favouring tenants or landlords with reasonably stable supply and demand factors at present. The Toowoomba area has traditionally had a stable rental market with reasonably low vacancy rates and enough rental competition to keep rents at acceptable levels. With new product still being made available to the property market, big infrastructure projects completed, underway and pending, the rental market will be one we will be continuing to study closely.