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Inner-city Sydney defies the vacancy rate trend

By Noemi Pamintuan-jara
16 November 2021 | 1 minute read
Inner-city Sydney defies the vacancy rate trend

Residential rental vacancies in Sydney have marginally decreased after growing last month, new research revealed.

According to the Vacancy Rate Survey for October 2021 conducted by the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW), the vacancy rate in Sydney has dropped 0.1 per cent for the month to 3 per cent overall.

Looking at specific areas, in Sydney’s middle-ring suburbs, vacancies fell to 3.1 per cent for the month (-0.8 per cent overall), and in the outer rings, it fell to 1.8 per cent for the month (-0.4 per cent overall).


Comparatively, the vacancy rate in the inner ring has risen 0.2 per cent to 3.9 per cent, which is now at its highest level since June 2021.

REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin has expounded on the survey results, flagging that many real estate agents are now reporting “that the residential rental market in the inner-city suburbs is suffering due to the lack of international students”. 

He said: “It will be interesting to see the impact that the opening of international borders has in the New Year when we hope to see university students return for the start of a year of face-to-face learning.”

Vacancy rates are still exceptionally low in many of regional NSW, such as in Wollongong, where vacancies fell to 1 per cent (-1 per cent), except for Newcastle, where the vacancy rate went up to 1.8 per cent (+0.3 per cent).

Mr McKibbin further added to the list of areas where vacancy rates fell in September 2021: Albury, Murrumbidgee, New England, Riverina, South Coast, and South Eastern.

The availability of rental accommodation in Coffs Harbour did not deviate in October, while it moderately increased in the Central Coast, Central West, Mid-North Coast, and Northern Rivers regions.

The REINSW CEO pointed at the Orana area for being particularly noteworthy, having the highest vacancy rate among the regions, with 0.7 per cent vacancies for the month that grew to 2 per cent.

He acknowledged that the impact of increasing vaccination rates and the further easing of restrictions “is only just starting to trickle through to the residential rental market”.

“It’s a case of ‘watch this space’ for the next few months – and we will be watching with great interest.”

Inner-city Sydney defies the vacancy rate trend
TimMcKibbin reb
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