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Sydney vacancy rate increases as demand falls, supply increases

By Tim Neary
17 April 2019 | 9 minute read
forrent house reb 1

The Sydney vacancy rate has increased by 40 basis points, from 3.2 per cent in February to 3.6 per cent in March, according to the March REINSW Residential Vacancy Rate Report.

The report also found that the Illawarra region fell to 2.2 per cent in the same period, while the Hunter region remained steady at 1.7 per cent.

Both inner and outer Sydney saw slight increases, 80 basis points and 40 basis points, respectively; while middle Sydney had a vacancy rate of 3.1 per cent, which is a drop of 50 basis points from the previous month.

Vacancy rates in the Hunter region remained steady, particularly in Newcastle where there was a 2.1 per cent vacancy rate in both February and March. Other areas in the region dropped by 10 basis points from February to 1.5 per cent this month.

Wollongong and its surrounding areas saw 20 basis points fall in rental vacancies, from 2.4 per cent on 15 February to 2.2 per cent on 15 March.

The report found that the rest of NSW saw mild increases in six key areas: the Central Coast to 2.8 per cent; the Central West to 2.0 per cent; Coffs Harbour to 2.1 per cent; Mid-North Coast to 2.8 per cent; Orana to 1.8 per cent; and South Eastern to 2.9 per cent.

On the other hand, Albury, with 0.8 of a percentage point vacancy rate; Murrumbidgee, with 0.9 of a percentage point; New England, with 2.2 per cent; and the South Coast regions, with 2.6 per cent, all saw decreases this month of between 30 and 50 basis points.

REINSW president Leanne Pilkington said that the findings are not surprising.

“The vacancy rate in Sydney’s inner ring, in areas such as Ashfield, Leichardt and Marrickville, increased in March due to lower demand and high supply. Sydney’s outer ring is also experiencing a similar situation,” she said.

“Feedback from real estate agencies in areas such as Baulkham Hills and Blacktown has been that old, dated units are harder to lease for the same price they had been getting previously, and landlords are unwilling to drop rental prices.

“In contrast, Sydney’s middle ring is experiencing a decline in vacant properties. According to real estate agencies, in areas such as Strathfield and Parramatta, landlords have been willing to reduce rents to attract tenants.”

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