More than 80,000 homes go unlet in Queensland despite rent squeeze

More than 80,000 homes across Queensland have remained empty, prompting calls for action against landlords who fail to let them.

The revelation comes as Australia experiences its worst rental crisis on record.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that 87,000 residential properties in Queensland were unlet, while there were 577,000 in Australia, The Mail Mail reported.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that 87,000 residential properties in Queensland (pictured) were unlet, while there were 577,000 vacant in Australia.

Real estate expert Michael Matusik believes that new tax measures should be put in place to “encourage or penalize” landlords to vacate houses for rent.

“About 29 percent of investment properties are unleased. They are sitting there vacant,” Mr. Matusik said.

According to Urban Utilities, the Sunshine State’s largest water supplier, 19,500 homes in South East Queensland have been connected to water.

However, it was discovered that there was no one living in these houses for several months.

Katherine Gee, Unitywater’s chief executive, customer and community, said their figures showed 2,104 homes used 1,000 liters or less of water over a 90-day period.

Ms Gee added: ‘It is important to note that it cannot be categorically stated that these properties are ‘vacant’.

“We operate in a sought after area and some of these properties may be vacation homes or homes that are only occupied during certain parts of the year.”

Property expert Michael Matusik believes new tax measures should be put in place to 'incentivize or penalize' landlords to vacate homes for rent (pictured, Brisbane Properties)

Property expert Michael Matusik believes new tax measures should be put in place to ‘incentivize or penalize’ landlords to vacate homes for rent (pictured, Brisbane Properties)

A Mackay Regional Council spokeswoman said figures for ’empty’ flats are harder to come by given ‘there are a significant number of residential units/complexes that feed off a single meter and it will depend if each unit/complex are separate plots of land (lot and plan).’

Brisbane Mayor Adrian Schrinner reacted to the rental crisis by announcing “significantly higher rates” for landlords who “turned homes into mini-hotels”, including renting space through Airbnb.

“If owners have these properties on the market in the short term, that is their choice, but they will now face a 50% increase in their rates.

“We are excluding (those who rent) single rooms. These are people who rent the whole house.

Queensland Council of Social Service CEO Aimee McVeigh said state funding had not kept pace with the housing crisis and a ramp-up in social housing construction was needed, ABC News reported.

“We have over 50,000 people on our social housing register. This has increased by nearly 80% over the past four years.

Ms McVeigh added: “Over the last 20 years Queensland’s population has grown by around 48 per cent and the Queensland Government says we expect an additional 1.4 million people in the state over the next decade. .”

Brisbane has seen a rental price surge of 22% over the past year to $610 per week, with units up 11.2% to $430 per week, according to the latest data from SQM Research.

Brisbane has seen a rental price surge of 22% over the past year to $610 per week, with units up 11.2% to $430 per week, according to the latest data from SQM Research.

Vacancy penalties are in place against international buyers who leave their real estate investments empty, which are enforced by the federal government.

Figures from the Australian Taxation Office show $2.3m in penalties collected in 2021, $3.7m in 2019/20 and $1.8m in its first year of collection ( 2018/19).

Prosper Australia advocacy director Karl Fitzgerald said overseas investors were not solely responsible for empty or underutilized homes, with Australian investors’ “speculative holidays” limiting supply and pushing prices to the bottom. rise, The Courier Mail reported.

He said governments must reduce incentives to profit from housing in the short term.

Brisbane has seen a rental price surge of 22% over the past year to $610 per week, with units up 11.2% to $430 per week, according to the latest data from SQM Research.

The effects of the ongoing crisis have left a young family of four struggling to find accommodation to live in a tent after becoming homeless when the landlord sold their rental.

Sushannah Taylor, 20, (pictured), lives in a tent with her two children and her husband after their rental property was sold last month

The family moves from campsite to campsite to find safe places to spend the night

The family moves from campsite to campsite to find safe places to spend the night

Sushannah Taylor, 20, spends every day trying to find a suitable campsite in Bundaberg, Queensland, where she can spend the night with her husband Tristan, 22, and their two daughters Delilah, two, and Luna, aged six months.

As recently as last month, the family was stable and secure in their long-term rental home in Roma, a six-hour drive away in the southwest of the state.

“We had a nice little rental in the country and had been there for about two years. But our landlord sold the house and we couldn’t find another rental in time, and our area had become unaffordable to rent,’ Sushannah said. 7News.

The young family tried to find homeless shelters in the area but were told they were all full

The young family tried to find homeless shelters in the area but were told they were all full

“We’re running out of a lot of food, basic hygiene is hard to maintain, it’s really too hot in the tent and then it’s really cold.”

The family falls victim to the country’s crippling rental market, as property prices soar and availability dwindles in the face of growing demand.

Sushannah said they had exhausted all their efforts trying to find long-term accommodation and all the homeless shelters she had contacted were full.

The couple have an obligation to move into a rental, she said, but there is no affordable housing and the market is extremely competitive.

The family have packed their lives into their car as they continue to search for a home and desperately try to find work

The family have packed their lives into their car as they continue to search for a home and desperately try to find work

Over the past year, rental costs in most capitals have risen by double-digit percentages, with experts predicting they will only get worse as rates rise at the fastest pace in over two decades. ‘a decade.

In April, a report by Anglicare Australia found that only five out of 45,000 rentals were affordable for a single person on Jobseeker.

House rents have increased over the past year

SYDNEY: Up 17.1% to $766.70 per week

MELBOURNE: Up to 6.5% to reach $547.10 per week

BRISBANE: Up to 19.5% to reach $570.80 per week

PERTH: Up 13.7% to $575.70 per week

ADELAIDE: Up 15.6% to $494.40 per week

CANBERRA: Up 16.4% to $768.30 per week

DARWIN: Up 4.7% to $611.10 per week

HOBART: Up to 4.5% to reach $511 per week

Source: SQM Research, median weekly house rent data showing annual increases over the year to March 12, 2022

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