NSW residential vacancy rates were affected by the Christmas period, according to recent data.
The December 2016 REINSW Vacancy Rate Survey showed vacancy rates increased by 0.2 per cent, putting them at 2.0 per cent.
“Middle Sydney and outer Sydney saw rises of 0.6 per cent and 0.2 per cent to 2.1 per cent and 2.0 per cent respectively, while inner Sydney bucked the trend to fall 0.2 per cent at 1.8 per cent,” REINSW president John Cunningham said.
“The changes seen to vacancy rates in Sydney and right across the state reflect the holiday period. We anticipate a flurry of activity as the year progresses,”
It wasn’t just metro areas that suffered. Newcastle saw an increase of 0.7 per cent to 2.4 per cent.
Historically, residential vacancy rates tend to rise over the holiday period.
A study conducted by Terri Scheer Insurance found that rental arrears claims increased by 26 per cent in the December to March period of the 2015-16 financial year.
“From our experience, the higher than average frequency of loss of rent claims is due to two key reasons. Tenants often put gift giving and Christmas spending ahead of paying their rent and utility bills; money is tight and their rental payments fall to the wayside,” Terri Scheer Insurance executive manager Carolyn Parrella said.
The new school year can also wreck havoc on vacancy rates, with families eager to live near good schools.
“From anecdotal evidence we know that many families break their rental agreement, abscond the property and move to different suburbs for the new school year,” Ms Parrella said.