Figures released by SQM Research this week have revealed tenants are beginning to wield the upper hand over landlords, with the number of residential vacancies decreasing marginally.
Across Australia vacancies fell 0.1 per cent during May to record a vacancy rate of 2.2 per cent and a total of 65,075 vacancies nationally, according to SQM Research.
“This result clearly reveals last month’s jump was indicative of a genuine increase in rental dwellings onto the market, and not merely a seasonal spike,” SQM Research said in a statement.
“With Canberra, Melbourne and Darwin being the only capital cities to record monthly decreases, vacancy rates appear to have remained elevated for the most part, strengthening the forecast that the rental market appears to be swinging in favour of tenants.”
SQM Research’s Asking Rents Index has also revealed that on a monthly basis, rents have remained completely flat, with no change to the capital city average – remaining at $528 for houses and $416 for units.
According to SQM Research, stagnation in these figures reflects the difficulty landlords would have increasing the asking price for their properties, in a market with increased supply of rental dwellings.
SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said rental growth this year has been patchy as a result of the moderate increase in supply of available rental properties.
“I believe vacancy rates will continue to gradually rise over the course of 2014, with the longer-term view that the large increases in building approvals will translate to higher vacancy rates in 2015 and 2016,” he said.
“Overall, it is going to be increasingly difficult for landlords to lift the rent for the foreseeable future,” he added.