Promoted by the South West Queensland Regional Organization of Councils
South West Queensland is a large region that embodies the lifestyle and charm of the outback.
It enjoys strong economic growth that outpaces Queensland and many other regions thanks to its diversified agricultural industry and thriving resource sector.
This growth has prompted both private and public sector organizations to expand their local workforces.
Together, these forces have created strong demand for rental housing in many of Southwest Queensland’s cities. There is currently a demand for more than 600 new homes in the region.1
A real estate agent in Roma mentioned a waiting list of 80 people looking for a rental property.
Mark Minnis, Ray White Principal in Charleville, has 15 families looking to rent a home.
“We have families trying to move here for work, others just trying to get out of the city,” said Mr Minnis.
“We just don’t have rental inventory for the people who are looking.”
Charleville will be in even more demand after its $9 million local meat plant expansion is completed next year. Western Meat Exporters will create 60 new jobs in the community, all of which will require housing.
Further south in St. George, it’s a similar story. There are currently 80 jobs advertised in agriculture, government, retail and hospitality.
According to SQM Research, the current vacancy rate of homes in St. George is 0.4%, or just two homes for rent.
Susan Schwerin, an agent with Ray White in St. George, said, “The rental market in St. George has always been very strong. It is even stronger at the moment with very few rental properties available.”
Vacancy of housing in the region is low, ranging from 0% to 1.7% in the past year, demonstrating the chronic lack of housing.2
As demand continues to increase, there is a unique opportunity to supply new homes to take advantage of the strong rental market.
Across the region, there is a large number of maintained residential lots with 134 blocks ready for use today with more in the pipeline. Land is also very affordable, costing between $2,000 and $25,000 per block maintained.
Local and state government is another source of demand for rental housing.
The Queensland Police Force, the Department of Health, the Department of Education and numerous local authorities all have new staffing requirements and need housing for them.
Paroo Shire Mayor Suzette Beresford said: “Council is looking for houses, police are looking for houses, health services are looking too; we all need housing to support our growing workforce.”
The local authorities alone need 42 new homes.
Susan Schwerin of St. George said, “Based on the strong demand for rental housing, we have a real need right now to significantly increase our housing stock.”
Over the past 12 months, more than $41 million has been invested in a range of infrastructure projects, including transportation, agriculture, tourism and telecommunications, which will continue to support strong growth going forward.
Mayor Beresford said: “The region has invested significantly in infrastructure and we have a great lifestyle to offer everyone.”
Now is a great time to explore investment opportunities for residential properties in South West Queensland.
For more information about Southwest Queensland, visit www.swqroc.com.au.
1 Regional Australian Institute 2021
2 SQM Research October 2021