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Sydney vacancy rates steady, good news for renters

By Tim Neary
18 April 2018 | 9 minute read

Sydney’s residential vacancy rate continues to support those seeking rental accommodation, according to new REINSW research.

President Leanne Pilkington said that the March 2018 REINSW Vacancy Rate Survey delivered some good news for renters in all of the metro, the Hunter and the regional areas.

She said that the survey saw availability fall by 0.1 percentage points to 2.2 per cent for the Sydney metropolitan area.

“A vacancy rate above 2 per cent is positive for those seeking rental properties,” Ms Pilkington said.

“In outer Sydney, the vacancy rate remained steady while middle Sydney and inner Sydney rose [by] 0.1 percentage points to 2.6 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively.”

The survey also found that in the Hunter area, vacancy rates rose by 0.1 per cent to 1.6 per cent and that Newcastle is up by 0.4 per cent. It also found that the Illawarra remained stable for the third month in a row, with vacancy rates at 1.9 per cent.

But Wollongong was down by 0.1 per cent at 2.2 per cent.

Across regional areas, Northern Rivers rose by 0.2 per cent to 1.2 per cent, Murrumbidgee increased by 0.2 per cent to 1.0 per cent, and New England dropped by 0.9 per cent to 1.9 per cent.


These findings come after reports in February that Sydney’s vacancy rates are at a five-year high, and that the city is facing the smallest house price growth in the country.

The REINSW said then that vacancy rates in middle Sydney were at the highest they have been since 2012.

Ms Pilkington said that the area has “seen a significant increase in available stock and a decline in applications”.

At the same time, the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) found that Sydney was the capital city facing the smallest house price growth, after analysing 15 years’ worth of ABS data.

It said that Sydney’s house price index rose by 142 per cent.

By comparison, Hobart’s index was 220 per cent, Melbourne’s was 208 per cent and Darwin’s was 161 per cent.

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