'Flippers' in: Real estate agents desperate for homes
RENTING a home in Mackay is as difficult as it has been in almost five years as the dark days appear to be over.
Vacancy rates has been at the astronomical levels of between 6.5% and 10% since March 2013 but today those figures have almost been halved.
And so Mackay real estate agents are almost running out of properties to lease while rents have been increasing.
PRD Nationwide Mackay has 653 rental listings and currently it has a vacancy rate of 3.1%; just 20 homes.
Principal agent Greg Chappell said six months ago his company was renting 24-26 properties a month, to 30-32 two months ago and then 42 in May.
"And we're on again this month for another big one," Mr Chappell said.
"We have also been increasing rents for the past three months."
It's not only his agency. Gardian has been selling homes at both ends of the markets from more than a million to under $200,000.
Gardian director Ben Kerrisk said the company's sales were up 30% compared to six months ago and 50% compared to a year ago.
He said there were not many properties below the $250,000 mark left in the Mackay and anyway, they were selling before they had the chance to advertise them.
Thursday afternoon sales consultant Greg Smith was showing three groups of potential buyers around a home just like that at South Mackay.
He said the buyers were also known as "flippers"; locals that would renovate the home and then sell it for more money.
Mortgage Choice Mackay broker Ben Phillips said enquiries had doubled in the past six months for people chasing home loans.
He said despite the previous hurdles set up by the big four banks there were loan providers out there that gave out home loans with a 3% deposit.
"There are a lot of first home buyers getting into the market at the $300,000 mark and they are still 20-30% cheaper than what they would have been four years ago," he said.
"It is the best our business has been for the past four years."