Adani workers are firing up the oversupplied Townsville rental market. Picture: Wesley Monts
Adani workers are firing up the oversupplied Townsville rental market. Picture: Wesley Monts

Adani workers could send rental prices back up

THE first wave of about 80 staff to work in Adani's new Townsville headquarters for the Carmichael coal project is arriving in the city, firing demand in an oversupplied rental market.

But while the city has plenty of units - 700 are available in the inner-city suburbs - many are not furnished, prompting agents to call for more stock.

"We are in demand for fully furnished stock," Townsville Rentals manager Anita Stirrat said.

Smith & Elliott principal Sally Elliott said they too needed more furnished stock.

"We are still looking for quite a number of apartments," she said.

The agents say Adani has an initial requirement for 80 families to be accommodated over the next few weeks and expect more demand from the company later this year.

Adani announced it was establishing an office at the River Quays building in South Townsville earlier this year and would have a staff in the building of up to 200 by the end of the year.

An Adani Australia spokesman yesterday told the Bulletin they had been moving people to the city over the past few weeks, staff who mainly worked in professional roles in engineering, geology and human resources.

They all seemed to be enjoying the change, he said.

The spokesman said a lot of pre-design work on the project's $2.5 billion 388km Galilee Basin to Abbot Point rail line was required.

But real estate agents say demand is not only being boosted by Adani but other contractors coming to the city for work on projects such as the Townsville stadium and utility-scale solar farms.

"We are starting to see inquiries picking up," Ms Stirrat said. "There's a lot more contractors coming to town. It's a good indicator that, hopefully, our market is on the turn."

Ms Elliott said Adani staff were looking for apartments in the inner city and South Townsville, no more than 4km from the CBD.

"I think it's terrific news for the city," she said. "It puts a bit of confidence back into the city and provides some relief for our landlords, who have done it tough for a long time."

Townsville economist and landlord Colin Dwyer said the vacancy rate in the inner city area was probably around 7 per cent and dropping fast.

Mr Dwyer said the benefits of more rental activity in Townsville would flow through the economy.

"It's a step in the right direction but we still need that vacancy rate to get down to three or 3.5 per cent," he said.

Mr Dwyer said rents could rise next year for quality, well-positioned properties.

News Corp Australia


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