How many properties sit empty?

How many properties sit empty?

Looking into the luxury high-rises in the Gold Coast suburb of Main Beach on a Sunday night recently it seemed nobody was home.

The local paper delights in announcing every new high-rise to be built, however nobody seems to be talking about the waste of having empty dwellings during a "housing crisis".

Census 2016 listed 12.4 per cent of Sunshine Coast private dwellings as empty (18,230 homes), and 10.5 per cent of those on the Gold Coast (23,832 homes).
Noosa 20.6 per cent of properties were classed as unoccupied on census night.

Gold Coast House Vacancy Article GCB

Are these figures correct?

The first local Southport Real Estate agents had a property for rent in Main Beach. So the figures of 1 Main Beach property for rent are clearly an exageration.

Foxs Main Beach Rental Listing

And clearly when the lights go out tonight there will be unoccupied dwellings in Main Beach.

Prices have boomed, however the real concern is investors leaving properties vacant.

Why leave an investment property vacant?

By keeping their properties free of occupants, owners gain the option of selling their investment at some point in the future and earning a higher price. Some simply do not want the issues associated with renting a property.

Victoria introduced a Vacant Residential Land Tax

Vacant residential land tax applies to homes in inner and middle Melbourne that were vacant for more than six months in the preceding calendar year.

The Victorian government explain: to increase the availability of housing, the vacant residential land tax applies to empty homes in many of Melbourne's middle and inner suburbs. This tax affects you, if you own a home that is located within 16 specific council areas that has remained unoccupied for more than six months of the calendar year. The tax is charged annually, and is calculated at 1% of the property's capital improved value.

That's the value of the property, including land, buildings and other improvements. It's displayed on your council rates notice, if you want a home that was unoccupied for more than six months of the calendar year, you need to notify the State Revenue Office before the 15th of January, via its website, some vacant homes will be eligible for an exemption.

The Victorian government says it plans to enforce the tax by checking utility records to look for properties with very low usage. This tax's biggest accomplishment may be an income surge for Bunnings, as property owners buy faucet and electrical outlet timers that enable them to evade monitoring of their utility usage.

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