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Vacancy rates down in May

By Tim Neary
19 June 2019 | 10 minute read
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The national residential rental vacancy rate declined marginally in May 2019 to 2.2 per cent, bringing the total number of vacancies Australia-wide to 75,093 properties, according to the latest data released by SQM Research.

The data shows this is a decrease of 2,571 properties over the month, but is up by 5,941 dwellings over the past 12 months.

Managing director Louis Christopher said most states recorded minor declines ranging from 0.1 of a percentage point to 0.3 of a percentage point.

“Darwin and Sydney have the highest vacancy rates in the country, both at 3.3 per cent. A 3.0 per cent vacancy rate is what would normally be considered a balanced market.

“Darwin declined by 0.3 [of a percentage point] and Sydney’s decline was 0.1 [of a percentage point]. Perth’s vacancy rate is not far behind at 3.1 per cent, having dropped by 0.1 [of a percentage point]. Hobart’s vacancy rate decreased from 0.6 [of a percentage point] to 0.5 [of a percentage point] in May and continues to record the lowest vacancy rate in the country.”

Mr Christopher said the month of May recorded a marginal change in rental vacancies.

“However, the standouts for me were the falls in vacancy rates for Brisbane and Perth,” he said.

“I think the rental market is decidedly turning in favour for landlords in these two cities. Both cities also recorded fairly strong increases in asking rents for the month. Indeed, Perth is now recording a 6 per cent rise in asking rents for houses over the past 12 months. With no expected material increase in new dwellings, I believe the rental market will continue to tighten from here for the two cities.”



The research found that capital city asking rents decreased by 0.2 of a percentage point for both units and houses for the week ending 12 June 2019 to record asking rents of $553 per week for houses and $441 per week for units. 

In comparison, over the 12 months, asking rents for houses increased by 0.4 of a percentage point but declined by 0.7 of a percentage point for units.

“Sydney’s asking rent for units and houses have both continued to decline marginally by 0.1 [of a percentage point] for houses and 0.5 [of a percentage point] for units to 12 June. Over 12 months, the decline has been 3.6 per cent for house rents and 3.8 per cent for units,” Mr Christopher said.

“Adelaide, Darwin and Hobart were the only states to experience increases in weekly rents for both houses and units. Adelaide’s house rents increased by 1.0 per cent and units by 1.8 per cent; Darwin’s house rents increased by 3.0 per cent, the highest among all states, and units increased by 0.1 per cent. Hobart’s house rents increased by 1.9 per cent and units increased by 3.7 per cent, also the highest among all states.”

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