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National residential rental vacancy plummets

19 March 2020 Naomi Neilson
National residential rental vacancy plummets

The residential rental vacancy has suffered a blow with a decline of 0.1 per cent in the span of one month, leaving over 68,000 properties vacant.

Data from SQM Research revealed that the national residential rental vacancy declined in February 2020 to 2.0 per cent, from the 2.1 per cent recorded in January. Most states recorded only minor delays, save for Adelaide, which reported a 0.3 per cent increase.

SQM Research CEO Louis Christopher said February marks the start to the new year in the property industry and “gives us a clear picture of the rental market”.

“The decline in vacancy rates is a reflection of a seasonal increase in rental demands plus ongoing decline in dwelling completions and the ongoing increase in population,” said Mr Christopher. “We are likely to record further declines in rental vacancy rates as 2020 progresses unless the country enters into a prolonged economic depression.”

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Sydney surpassed Darwin with the highest recorded vacancy in the country at 2.9 per cent, having dropped 0.3 per cent basis points. Adelaide remained stable with 1.0 per cent, but Darwin suffered a drop of 0.5 per cent. Canberra’s vacancy rates declined to 1.0 per cent, and Melbourne is now sitting at 1.9 per cent.

“The year-on-year comparison revealed a similar decline in the property industry and gives us a clearer picture of the rental market,” Mr Christopher added. “The decline in rental vacancy rates is a reflection of the seasonal increase in rental demands plus ongoing decline in dwelling completions and the ongoing increase in population.

“We are likely to record further declines in rental vacancy rates as 2020 progresses unless the country enters into a prolonged economic depression.”

In terms of costs, Capital City asking rents decreased 1.2 per cent for houses and 0.2 per cent for units for the week ending 12 March 2020 to record asking rates of $562 per week for houses and $441 per week for units. In comparison, Mr Christopher said over 12 months, asking rents increased 0.4 per cent for houses.

Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra decreased in asking rents, with Perth the only city to record rent increase for both houses and units. Over the month, Brisbane recorded decreases in house asking rents of 0.4 per cent.

In Darwin and Hobart, the cities managed small increases for house rents of 1.2 per cent and 0.5 per cent, respectively, but units fell 2.4 per cent and 1.4 per cent.

National residential rental vacancy plummets
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Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan

Emma Ryan is the deputy head of editorial at Momentum Media.

Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015, and has since been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia, including across the legal, mortgages, real estate and wealth industries. In addition, Emma has launched several additional sub-brands and events, driven by a passion to deliver quality and timely content to audiences through multiple platforms.

Email Emma on: [email protected]com.au

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