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Capital city vacancy rates increase in November

By Tim Neary
18 December 2018 | 10 minute read

Data released by SQM Research today has revealed that the national residential vacancy rate rose to 2.3 per cent in November, up from 2.0 per cent in October, with vacancies pushing higher in all capital cities ahead of the summer break.

The research found that the number of vacancies Australia-wide is at 74,590 properties.

Sydney’s vacancy rate jumped to 3.2 per cent in November from 2.8 per cent in October, with 22,215 properties available for rent.

Melbourne’s vacancy rate rose to 1.9 per cent from 1.6 per cent with 10,808 rental properties available, while in Brisbane, the vacancy rate increased to 3.0 per cent from 2.7 per cent with 9,783 properties available for rent.

Canberra’s rental market felt some relief with the vacancy rate rising to 0.9 of a percentage point, up from 0.6 of a percentage point. Hobart’s rate rose slightly to 0.4 of a percentage point from 0.3 of a percentage point, though the rental market remains very tight.

Perth’s vacancy rate edged higher to 3.4 per cent from 3.3 per cent in October but is well down from 4.5 per cent a year ago. Darwin’s vacancy rate rose to 4.0 per cent from 3.8 per cent in October, well up from 2.8 per cent a year ago. Adelaide’s rose slightly to 1.2 per cent from 1.1 per cent.

Managing director Louis Christopher said that the findings are true to form.

“The rise in vacancy rates across cities is expected in November as the year winds up and demand for rental accommodation drops,” he said.


“But we are also seeing an emerging oversupply of rental accommodation in Sydney, with the vacancy rate well up from 2.1 per cent a year ago. It is a renter’s market there, with bargaining power moving to tenants as some landlords struggle to fill their rental properties.

“In Hobart, a shortage of rental accommodation remains, with just 107 properties available to rent in November, and the Canberra market also remains very tight.”


The research also found that despite the rise in vacancies, capital city asking rents for houses rose by 0.4 of a percentage point over the month to 12 December, jumping to $555 a week. Unit asking rents, however, fell by 0.5 of a percentage point to $436 a week.

Over the year, asking rents for houses rose by just 0.9 of a percentage point while unit asking rents slipped by 0.2 of a percentage point.

Despite the upward pressure on the vacancy rate, the asking rent for a three-bedroom house in Sydney remains the highest nationwide at $708 a week, and $507 a week for two-bedroom units.

Asking unit rents were down by 1.1 per cent in Sydney over the month while asking house rents fell by 0.5 of a percentage point.

Asking rents in Melbourne for houses rose by 1.5 per cent over the month to $535 a week while asking rents for units rose by 0.2 of a percentage point to $407.

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