Navigating the Housing Crisis in Southeast Queensland 

Navigating the Housing Crisis in Southeast Queensland 

In the heart of Southeast Queensland, a rental crisis is unfolding. Known for its appealing lifestyle and economic opportunities, the region is now grappling with a severe shortage of rental properties. Driven by a surge in population growth, the demand for housing has skyrocketed, leaving many residents in a relentless scramble for affordable living spaces. 

As rental prices climb, renters find themselves caught in a fiercely competitive market, often facing prices that stretch their budgets to the limit. Meanwhile, rental property owners find themselves trying to balance the opportunities of high demand with new legislation aimed at capping rental increases. 

As the region attracts new residents, the gap between housing availability and demand widens, making the search for solutions more urgent than ever. 

The Current State of the Housing Market 

Southeast Queensland’s housing market is currently facing a significant crisis, marked by a severe shortage of rental properties and escalating rental costs. 
A recent report from market intelligence firm RPM highlighted a critical shortfall of around 25,000 rental properties in the region, primarily due to a continuing decline in the number of approved homes. 
The approval of new homes in Queensland declined by 15.4% in the 12 months leading up to April against a backdrop of record interstate migration to Queensland in the last year, which experienced the largest population growth of any Australian state in 2022. 

This situation has led to a fiercely competitive rental market, where tenants face growing pressure and new homebuyers struggle with affordability. And while the recent federal budget includes initiatives to enhance housing supply, differences of opinion remain on how to best alleviate the crisis through development. 

Renters Continue to Feel the Pain in Southeast Queensland 

Renters in Southeast Queensland are currently facing a challenging landscape, primarily characterised by high rents and limited availability of rental properties. The region has witnessed substantial rent increases over the past year, significantly impacting tenants’ affordability and quality of life. 
Analysis conducted by Suburbtrends has revealed that in some suburbs, rents have surged by as much as 20% in the past 12 months. This steep rise in rental costs clearly indicates the mounting pressure on the rental market. 

In tourist hotspots like Noosa, the situation is particularly acute. Tenants in Noosa have experienced rent increases of 16.75% in the past year, pushing the average rent to over $1,500 a week, a notable jump from around $1,300 in October of the previous year. Such drastic increases are not just isolated incidents but part of a broader trend across Queensland, which has seen the largest average 12-month rental increase at 16.33%

While property owners also face challenges in managing investments in this fast-moving market and balancing soaring demand with fair and ethical practices, the primary focus remains on the renters bearing the brunt of this crisis. The escalating rents and scarcity of affordable options are creating a strenuous environment for those seeking rental accommodation in Southeast Queensland. 

Potential Solutions and Future Outlook in the Southeast Queensland Property Market 

Addressing the housing crisis in Southeast Queensland will require a multifaceted approach. 

One of the key strategies being proposed by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is “gentle density.” This approach focuses on accommodating a growing population within existing suburbs, avoiding the expansion into undeveloped areas that lack essential infrastructure like public transport. 
The idea centres on creating new, well-designed buildings that seamlessly integrate into existing communities, preserving the character of neighbourhoods while increasing housing availability. 

Meanwhile, the Queensland government has taken legislative steps to stabilise the rental market. Earlier this year, rental law reforms in Queensland limited rent increases to once every 12 months for all new and existing tenancies. This measure should provide at least some relief to renters facing affordability and cost of living pressures. 

Additionally, there are discussions around relaxing planning controls and repurposing commercial buildings as short-term solutions. In the long term, the focus may shift to encouraging private build-to-rent operators, fostering affordable housing that complements rather than competes with private development, and increasing housing supply in key cities and regions.  
This includes addressing the “missing middle” – the gap in housing options like townhouses and duplexes, which are often overlooked in favour of single-family homes or large apartment complexes. 

These initiatives represent a concerted effort to balance the immediate needs of renters with the long-term goal of creating a more sustainable and accessible housing market in Queensland. 

Navigating the Southeast Queensland Housing Crisis Together 

Southeast Queensland’s housing crisis, marked by soaring rents and a shortage of affordable housing, calls for urgent and collaborative action. The government’s initiatives, such as implementing rental law reforms and exploring concepts like gentle density, are significant steps towards stabilising the market. 
However, the path forward requires a shared commitment to creating a balanced and accessible housing market for all residents of Southeast Queensland. That work will hinge on the collective efforts of government bodies, property developers, and communities working in tandem. 

Living Property Management recognises the importance of staying informed and actively engaged in local housing developments. Renters, property owners, and stakeholders must stay abreast of developments as the region navigates through these challenging times.  
So stay tuned as the team at Living Property Management continues to provide insights and updates on property market trends in Southeast Queensland.