Gladstone rents soared 80% at the end of last year, but local agents say the market has since softened.
Gladstone rents soared 80% at the end of last year, but local agents say the market has since softened. Tammy Lewis

Gladstone second most expensive place to rent, up 80%

RENTERS forking out $220 a week more than they were two years ago have helped deliver Gladstone landlords some of the best returns in the state.

But agents have warned that investors can't expect rents to keep climbing.

New figures from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland show investors in the Gladstone region were bringing home an average rental yield of 6.6% on their investment at the end of 2012.

That's up from 4.7% at the end of 2010, as average weekly rent jumped from $359 to $579.

The new figure puts the Gladstone region at number 11 for landlord returns, in a ranking of all local government areas.

And it also makes Gladstone the second most expensive place to rent in Queensland, with the rent for a four-bedroom house jumping 80% to $630 in the past three years.

But local real estate agent Remax Gold owner Shane McLeod said the market had shifted since December.

"Those end of year figures are definitely attractive, but now we're in April, I'd say those figures would have softened a little," he said.

"There's still investor activity at the moment but with current vacancy rates, it's not as strong as it might have been."

New figures from SQM Research on Thursday showed Gladstone had a 5.6% rental vacancy rate.

This compares with other mining regions with rates of 4.6% in Port Hedland and 3.7% in Karratha, both in Western Australia, and 2.6% in Roma.

But Mr McLeod admitted investors had certainly cashed in on the market over the past two years.

And while locals had been quick to get on board the boom, he said interstate and out-of-town investment "far outweighed" local landlords.

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