March quarter rental trends for Northern Queensland regional cities updated for the most recent bond data from the Residential Tenancies Authority:
A sharp jump in Townsville is almost certainly flood related which would have removed housing stock. The data is a median for the quarter with the flood at the beginning of February so may not fully reflect post flood rents. This will only reflect the median for new bonds lodged not the full stock of bonds where changes would be expected to lag. Something to watch in coming quarters.
This also closes the Cairns rent premium to the lowest margin in two years at $72.50 / week above Townsville for a three bedroom house. Cairns rents continue to rise slowly at around 2% p.a. roughly in line with CPI.
New bonds lodged during the quarter for 2 bedroom units in Cairns were down around 12% on the March quarter 2018 and 20% compared to March quarter 2017. There is a similar trend in all categories of housing. Total rental bonds held by RTA for Cairns Regional Council at 31/3/2019 were 183 fewer than a year earlier.