New figures released by the Real Estate Institute of NSW suggest the worst may be over, with rental vacancies easing as both landlords and tenants respond to the new “COVID-19 normal”.
The real estate body’s latest Vacancy Rate Survey results show vacancies across Sydney overall decreased for the first time in August, after five consecutive months of increases. According to the figures, they now sit at 3.7 per cent — a drop of 1.3 per cent from July.
Similarly, vacancies in the inner, middle and outer rings of Sydney all recorded easing rates, with drops of 0.6 of a percentage point, 0.8 of a percentage point and 1.9 per cent, respectively.
“The Sydney market is showing the first signs of a turnaround,” REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said. “But even with these drops in August, vacancies across Sydney are still markedly higher than they were at the start of the year.”
Further, the figures indicate slight easing in other NSW regions, particularly Newcastle and Wollongong.
“Vacancies across most of regional New South Wales remain extremely tight,” Mr McKibbin said. “The Central Coast, Northern Rivers, Orana and Riverina regions were the only areas to record an increase in vacancies over the last month.”
Mr McKibbin noted “anecdotal feedback from our members indicates that the easing of vacancy rates across much of New South Wales may be attributable to landlords responding to the changed market conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
“With so many people experiencing job losses or reduced pay, many tenants have had to relinquish properties and go in search of more affordable options. Landlords faced with vacant properties are now, in turn, reducing weekly rents to entice tenants,” he said.
“The result? Tenants have the opportunity to secure a rental property that suits their budget, landlords are not faced with vacant properties, and vacancies across the state have reduced.
“It’s all part of the new ‘COVID-19 normal’ for the residential rental market.”
Emma Ryan is the deputy head of editorial at Momentum Media.
Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015, and has since been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia, including across the legal, mortgages, real estate and wealth industries. In addition, Emma has launched several additional sub-brands and events, driven by a passion to deliver quality and timely content to audiences through multiple platforms.
Email Emma on: [email protected]