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Vacancy rates lift marginally in June

17 July 2019 Tim Neary

The national residential rental vacancy rate increased in June 2019 to 2.3 per cent, an increase from 2.2 per cent in May, according to new data released this week.

SQM Research data for the week ending 12 July 2019 has found that the total number of residential property vacancies is now at 78,690, an increase of 3,597 over the month and up by 2,933 dwellings over the past 12 months.

Managing director Louis Christopher said that nearly all capital cities recorded minor increases, ranging from 0.1 of a percentage point to 0.2 of a percentage point over the month.


“Darwin was the only capital city to record a decrease, of 0.2 [of a percentage point] to 3.1 per cent,” he said.

“Sydney continues to have the highest vacancy rates in the country at 3.5 per cent, an increase of 0.2 [of a percentage point]. This is the highest for Sydney since 2005. Perth’s vacancy rate is not far behind at 3.2 per cent, having increased by 0.1 [of a percentage point].

“Melbourne’s vacancy rate increased to 2.0 per cent. Hobart’s vacancy rate remains steady at 0.5 [of a percentage point] and continues to record the lowest vacancy rate in the country.”

Mr Christopher said Sydney is the standout performer.

“The increase in rental vacancies in June tends to be a seasonal rise for the start of winter. However, Sydney’s increases go beyond seasonal factors, and so, our expectation remains that Sydney will reach a 4 per cent vacancy rate before 2019 is completed.

“Melbourne is also likely to record more rises in rental vacancies as newly completed dwellings purchased as off the plan in the last boom enter the rental market now.

“In spite of the rise in vacancies this month, Brisbane, Adelaide and Hobart’s rental market is in favour for landlords as these cities have also recorded moderate increases in asking rents for the month and continue to record muted dwelling completions.”


SQM Research also found that capital city asking rents declined by 0.4 of a percentage point for houses, but remained steady for units, to record asking rents of $551 per week for houses and $441 per week for units. 

It found that, by 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 and Melbourne’s asking rents for houses and units both declined in July,” Mr Christopher said.

“Sydney rents dropped by 0.5 [of a percentage point] for houses and 0.2 [of a percentage point] for units to 12 July, and Melbourne’s drop was 0.9 [of a percentage point] for houses and 0.2 [of a percentage point] for units. 

“Brisbane, Adelaide and Hobart were the only states to experience increases in weekly rents for both houses and units. Adelaide’s house rents increased by 1.1 per cent and units by 0.4 [of a percentage point]. Brisbane’s house rents increased by 1.0 per cent [and] units increased by 0.7 [of a percentage point]. Hobart’s house rents increased by 3.6 per cent and units increased by 4.9 per cent, the highest among all states.”

Vacancy rates lift marginally in June
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