Vacancy rates improved slightly in April but rental markets remain tight throughout much of the nation, according to new figures from SQM Research.
The national vacancy rate climbed up to 1.8 per cent in April to a national figure of 47,787. This compared to 1.6 per cent in March and 1.4 per cent one year ago.
Although the month-on-month and year-on-year increase in vacancies theoretically reflects a slight relaxation in the rental market SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said the rental market was still tight.
“SQM’s rental vacancy rates highlight the endemic problem of the various rental markets around the country,” he said.
“There really is a shortage of rental accommodation for a number of areas and at this stage I fail to see how this problem is going to be rectified anytime soon.
“The current housing downturn only aggravates this problem as many would-be home buyers hold off and rent for longer durations.
“Developers also fail to get the required pre-sales for lending, and so even less new stock is built.”
In April Canberra remained the tightest capital city rental market with a vacancy rate of just 0.7 per cent. Perth wasn’t far behind at 1.1 per cent, followed by Adelaide and Sydney at 1.4 per cent.
Of all the capital cities Melbourne had the highest vacancy rate of 2.6 per cent, or 9,558 dwellings.