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Vacancy rate rising in Brisbane's middle ring

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has released its quarterly vacancy rate data today, which indicated that there has been a rise in vacancies in Brisbane's middle ring over the third quarter of the year. 

The inner ring - the area within five km of the centre - remained relatively consistent with the second quarter, rising from 3.4 per cent to 3.7 per cent. 

However, the middle ring - from five to 20km from the centre - saw a vacancy increase of 4.5 per cent in the September quarter. This is a significant increase on the corresponding figure of 2.3 per cent recorded in the previous three-month period. 

The vacancy rate of Greater Brisbane was 3.3 per cent, which is considered to be in a healthy range. 

Antonia Mercorella, chief executive officer of the REIQ, said the results for the middle ring are surprising and put this trend down to several factors. 

"Inner-city property managers and landlords are particularly sensitive to the oversupply question at the moment and rents have become extremely competitive, luring tenants from the middle ring into the inner ring," she commented. 

"A significant level of development has come online in the middle ring and some agents have reported that without being able sell, many of those properties have been put into the rental pool." 

Ms Mercorella also noted that low interest rates could be another contributing factor, particularly with the recent boost to the first-home buyer grant from $15,000 to $20,000 on the part of the state government, which is driving people to own property rather than rent. 

The greatest rental lifts for the September quarter were recorded in three markets - Brisbane's middle ring, Cassowary Coast and Southern Downs, all of which saw a 2.2 rise compared to the previous quarter.

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