Residential vacancy rates have returned to their tighter pre-Christmas levels in January, with Perth the hardest Australian city in which to find a place to rent with just over 1,000 properties up for grabs, new data shows.
“As pointed out in our last release, there has certainly been a large season effect on the December results,” Louis Christopher, the managing director of SQM Research said.
“Vacancies have now come back to the pre-Christmas numbers, albeit at a slightly higher level. We note too that vacancies are also slightly higher than this time last year.”
Figures from SQM Research show the level of residential vacancies declined during the month of January, falling from 2.4 per cent to 1.8 per cent to a total of 49,359 vacancies. This was slightly higher than the 48,244 vacancies recorded in November 2011.
“Overall it is still a landlord’s market for most parts of the country, with the exception of Melbourne,” Mr Christopher added.
“Perth vacancies appear to be quickly disappearing and I would suggest if vacancies persist at under one per cent, then this will translate to accelerated rent hikes in that city for 2012.”
Perth now has the tightest vacancy rate of the capital cities at 0.6 per cent, down from one per cent in December - or just 1,084 properties being available for rent in January.
The next lowest rate was recorded in Canberra at 0.8 per cent – down from 1.1 per cent on-month, followed by Darwin at 0.9 per cent, which was 0.8 per cent lower than in December.
In the other capitals, Brisbane’s vacancy rate touched 1.8 per cent (down from 2.5 per cent in December); Adelaide’s vacancy rate fell 0.5 per cent to reach 1.4 per cent; Melbourne recorded a 0.9 per cent on-month fall to 3.5 per cent in January; Hobart saw its vacancy rate ease 0.3 per cent to 2.1 per cent; while Sydney’s vacancy rate touched 1.6 per cent, down from 2.0 per cent in the previous month.
SQM’s calculations of vacancies are based on online rental listings that have been advertised for three weeks or more compared to the total number of established rental properties.