Workers will lift vacancy woes

THE RENTAL market in the Clarence Valley is bumping along the bottom, but things are about to change for the better says a senior executive from Australian Property Monitors.

APM senior economist Andrew Wilson said the rental market will boom when construction begins on the Pacific Hwy upgrade.

Mr Wilson toured the north of NSW a few weeks ago to see first hand what the property market was like. "Grafton is one of our under-performing areas," he said. "It's a reflection of a two-speed economy in the area.

"The seaside places are doing all right, but away from the coast, like Grafton and Lismore, it's a struggle."

The figures showed the Clarence Valley's 257 houses for rent yielded a median of $290 a week. This had not changed over a year.

The average yield per property was 6% - the highest of the regions in the survey. Mr Wilson said the Valley's high yield figure was slightly misleading.

"It reflects low house prices," he said. "There is a worry then with a high vacancy rate."

Mr Wilson said the availability of relatively cheap rentals would be attractive to workers when highway construction started.



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