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Rental crisis worsens as national vacancy rate hits record low

By Staff Reporter
10 November 2023 | 11 minute read
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Australia’s national rental vacancy rate has hit a new low of 1.02 per cent in October, a slight decrease of 0.06 percentage points from the previous month.

Though the change is marginal, it is nonetheless bad news for the nation’s renters who are increasingly struggling to find suitable accommodation.

The country’s biggest rental markets, Sydney and Melbourne, also both hit record low vacancy rates, dropping to 1.11 per cent and 1.09 per cent respectively.

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Elsewhere in the capitals the news is similarly grim. Perth’s vacancy rate has now been sitting below 1 per cent for 15 months, falling a further 0.02 per cent in October to reach 0.7 per cent. Brisbane’s rate also stayed below 1 per cent, resting at 0.87 per cent during the month.

Adelaide maintains the lowest vacancy rate at 0.67 per cent, but it is Hobart that has seen the largest drop, falling 0.18 percentage points to 1.21 per cent.

Only Darwin bucks the trend, experiencing a 0.68 per cent rise to 2.47 per cent.

PropTrack’s economist Anne Flaherty, who authored the report, said that the dire state of affairs – which has been years in the making – shows no likelihood of easing soon.

“The national vacancy rate has been trending down for well over three years now – a trend that looks likely to continue off the back of strong population growth and a slowdown in the supply of new housing,” she said.

Ms Flaherty noted that while city markets have proven particularly tough for renters, rural locations offer little reprieve.

“Melbourne and Sydney have seen the sharpest falls in available rentals over the past 12 months, with vacancy down 0.55 ppt and 0.35 ppt respectively. Conditions have also deteriorated in regional areas, with vacancy down 0.31 ppt over the quarter.”


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