The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

FOR the first time in a year Gladstone vacancy rates are declining, meaning people are moving in to our available homes.

The June quarter figures for vacancy rates released by Real Estate Institute of Queensland show the rate has dropped from 11.3% in the March quarter to 10.2%.

An aerial view of Gladstone.
An aerial view of Gladstone. Mike Richards

The rate is still high compared to five years ago when it was 0.6% but rates that low come with dangers as well, mostly a high cost of living.

But a high vacancy rate results in poor confidence in the market, something REIQ Gladstone zone chair Vicki Brown said was changing.

More real estate news:

>> Gladstone landlords in trouble with Bechtel job losses

>> Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island resort

"Inquiries have lifted for properties in Gladstone, Boyne-Tannum and Calliope and I think with the different projects around its giving Gladstone a more positive feel," she said.

"Certainly I'd like it to be a lot better but things are improving, which lifts confidence."

Mrs Brown said real estate agents did not know how much the market might slide but the latest reports showed it had bottomed out.

"It was the correction we had to have and now the rental prices are realistic," she said.

"We're on the upward march again."

LJ Hooker co-principal Mark Spearing agreed, saying his agency had reached a "significant barrier" last Friday.

"Last month we had our best leasing month in 12 months," he said.

"Last Friday we reached a fundamental indicator of having under 1000 available properties for the first time in 18 months."

He said people who had left Gladstone when rental prices were $700 a week were returning if they had family and friends in the region.

"I would be surprised if this trend didn't continue for the next quarter," he said.

"This month is better again in terms of numbers."

He said after the fluctuations the market had experienced in the past few years this sign of confidence was good for owners and tenants.