Tenants appear to have the upper hand in South Australia, with the state's vacancy rate pushing out to 3.6 per cent in the March quarter, new data shows.
According to the latest Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA) quarterly survey, available stock is sitting on the market for little longer with price and location the keys to a fast rental.
“Right across the State REISA members are saying that the market has been a little flatter for over 12 months and the level of activity is not as high as previous years,” REISA president Greg Moulton said.
“New properties for lease are often taking up to 4-6 weeks to rent, even at the right price, and this is a distinct market change from tenants struggling to secure properties several years ago.”
“For tenants, they will be welcoming the easing in the market after some really tough years of having to fight to quality rental properties.”
The state’s metropolitan vacancy rate came in at 3.55 per cent (up from 3.4 per cent last quarter), whilst the regional rate is 4.43 per cent (up from 2.83 per cent).
REISA said its members identified the western region as a trouble spot, with many property managers commenting in the survey that they have quality excessive stock in this area which has been quite hard to move in recent months.
“There is definitely a theme from our members that the they are observing tenants are tending to renew their current leases, so the turnover isn’t as high as normal and this is making the newer properties to the market a little slow to move,” Mr Moulton said.
“Some areas are also experiencing an influx of new properties to the market from investors with small developments now complete, so this stock will take a little time to tenant and return the area to a more natural vacancy rate.”
“Pricing has definitely been a key to the vacancies from our last survey. In the outer suburbs, above $300 makes it a little slower to lease and closer to the city, we’re seeing that $350 is generally a critical price point.”
According to the report, there has been a modest shift over the past 12 months with the median house rental price moving up by $10 per week to $325 for metropolitan houses. In regional areas, the movement was larger at $20 per week to $250 for houses in regional towns.
In the unit market, there has been no change to the median price in metropolitan areas, stable at $275 per week. In regional areas, units have moved from $180 to $190 per week.
The survey covered 27,000 properties across the state.