SQM Research have updated their free rental vacancy data for April. As much data turns to mush I still think rentals may be one of the better indicators reflective of factors such as the labour market, tourism and population movements. As well as underlying building supply fundamentals we also know growth in new stock has been low and stable over recent years.
April data in Cairns most likely reflects tourism accommodation seeking permanent rentals.
4870 is among the largest population postcodes in Queensland and comprises over half the rentals in urban Cairns with diverse demographics. Vacancy rates in the CBD would likely show a more dramatic percentage increase such as seen in capital inner cities, particularly Sydney postcode 2000 which spiked from 5.7% to 13.8% in a month.
Postcode 4879 at the northern beaches may be more of a bellwether on this jumping from 2.6% to a ten year high at 5.4%:
Postcode 4877 Port Douglas is also worth a watch:
While the monthly increase isn’t so dramatic on this scale the Port Douglas vacancy rate is now at 7.2% at a time when it typically commences a seasonal decline and has been trending up since at least mid 2018 in line with softer tourism trends.
Note: The April trend in these postcodes is not apparent in other Cairns postcodes 4865, 4868, 4869, 4878 or in Mossman 4873. The postcodes above which see significant increases are more directly exposed to tourism and education, and also have a higher proportion of unit stock.