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Where vacancy rates are bucking the national trend

By Kyle Robbins
24 May 2022 | 1 minute read

Over the last two years, the Australian property market boom has seen rents increase and vacancy rates plummet, resulting in a rental market that is more favourable to landlords than tenants. But not all locations have followed the national trajectory.

National vacancy rates have decreased by 1 per cent over the last 12 months to 1.1 per cent, with as few as 39,000 vacant properties existing nationwide.

Despite the rental market appearing all doom and gloom, the latest quarterly RentRabbit Better Renting report pinpointed 20 tenant-friendly Australian suburbs where vacancy rates are bucking the trend as the pendulum swings back in favour of tenants.

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To qualify as tenant-friendly, a suburb needs to have over 1,000 properties and be located within 250 kilometres of the relevant state capital city. Vacancy rates must have increased by a minimum of 0.5 per cent over the last 12 months, while weekly rent either decreased or remained the same.

The suburbs were spread nationwide, with eight in NSW, four in Victoria, and three in both Queensland and Western Australia, while South Australia and Canberra both boasted one each.

The six housing markets and 14 unit markets reported all had vacancy rates of above 2 per cent, with weekly rents ranging from $225 in Russell Island (Queensland) right up to $1,500 in Castlecrag (NSW).

RentRabbit co-founder Ben Pretty said that overall, it was quite alarming that only 50 suburbs nationally qualified as tenant-friendly.

“Throughout much of Australia, the data shows that vacancy rates are low, vacancy rates are falling, and rents are rising,” he said.

“Thankfully, though, there are some markets where vacancy rates are increasing and rents are decreasing, which means tenants aren’t completely out of options.

“That said, I am concerned about the future. Now that the international border has reopened, our population growth is likely to return to pre-pandemic levels. Unless we see a corresponding increase in the supply of rental properties, the number of tenant-friendly suburbs is likely to decrease.”

Here are RentRabbit’s top 20 tenant-friendly Australian suburbs:

  1. Coolbinia, WA (House)

May 2021: $580 (Vacancy rate: 0 per cent)

May 2022: $510 (Vacancy rate: 7 per cent)

Vacancy rates have increased 7 percentage points

  1. Essendon West, Vic (Unit)

May 2021: $500 (Vacancy rate: 0 per cent)

May 2022: $435 (Vacancy rate: 3.9 per cent)

Vacancy rates have risen by 3.9 percentage points

  1. Barwon Heads, Vic (House)

May 2021: $650 (Vacancy rate: 2.6 per cent)

May 2022: $600 (Vacancy rate: 5.9 per cent)

Vacancy rates have jumped 3.3 percentage points

  1. Prairiewood, NSW (House)

May 2021: $510 (Vacancy rate: 1 per cent)

May 2022: $470 (Vacancy rate: 4.1 per cent)

3.1 percentage points vacancy rate increase

  1. Gwelup, WA (House)

May 2021: $750 (Vacancy rate: 0 per cent)

May 2022: $650 (Vacancy rate: 2.9 per cent)

Vacancy rates have grown by 2.9 percentage points

  1. Bellfield, Vic (Unit)

May 2021: $750 (Vacancy rate: 0 per cent)

May 2022: $650 (Vacancy rate: 2.9 per cent)

Vacancy rates have increased 2.9 percentage points

  1. Castlecrag, NSW (House)

May 2021: $1,600 (Vacancy rate: 1.2 per cent)

May 2022: $1,500 (Vacancy rate: 3.7 per cent)

Vacancy rates have jumped 2.5 percentage points

  1. Beacon Hill, NSW (Unit)

May 2021: $510 (Vacancy rate: 0.5 per cent)

May 2022: $480 (Vacancy rate: 2.7 per cent)

Vacancy rates have climbed by 2.2 percentage points

  1. North Narrabeen, NSW (Unit)

May 2021: $540 (Vacancy rate: 0.6 per cent)

May 2022: $520 (Vacancy rate: 2.5 per cent)

Vacancy rates have grown by 1.9 percentage points

  1. Nagambie, Vic (Unit)

May 2021: $300 (Vacancy rate: 2.6 per cent)

May 2022: $230 (Vacancy rate: 4.4 per cent)

1.8 percentage points increase in vacancy rates

  1. Russell Island, Qld (Unit)

May 2021: $250 (Vacancy rate: 1.7 per cent)

May 2022: $225 (Vacancy rate: 3.5 per cent)

Vacancy rates have jumped 1.8 percentage points

  1. Mullaloo, WA (Unit)

May 2021: $650 (Vacancy rate: 1.1 per cent)

May 2022: $590 (Vacancy rate: 2.7 per cent)

Vacancy rates are up 1.6 percentage points

  1. Speers Point, NSW (Unit)

May 2021: $470 (Vacancy rate: 2 per cent)

May 2022: $450 (Vacancy rate: 3.5 per cent)

Vacancy rates have risen by 1.5 percentage points

  1. Putney, NSW (Unit)

May 2021: $650 (Vacancy rate: 2.2 per cent)

May 2022: $580 (Vacancy rate: 3.7 per cent)

1.5 percentage points vacancy rate increase

  1. Deakin, ACT (House)

May 2021: $825 (Vacancy rate: 2.9 per cent)

May 2022: $820 (Vacancy rate: 4.4 per cent)

Vacancy rates have jumped 1.5 percentage points

  1. Windang, NSW (Unit)

May 2021: $330 (Vacancy rate: 0.7 per cent)

May 2022: $320 (Vacancy rate: 2 per cent)

Vacancy rates have grown 1.5 percentage points

  1. Tempe, NSW (Unit)

May 2021: $360 (Vacancy rate: 1.8 per cent)

May 2022: $320 (Vacancy rate: 3.1 per cent)

1.3 percentage points rise in vacancy rates

  1. Henley Beach South, SA (House)

May 2021: $750 (Vacancy rate: 1.3 per cent)

May 2022: $680 (Vacancy rate: 2.5 per cent)

Vacancy rates have increased by 1.2 percentage points

  1. Heathwood, Qld (Unit)

May 2021: $440 (Vacancy rate: 1.8 per cent)

May 2022: $400 (Vacancy rate: 3 per cent)

Vacancy rates have climbed by 1.2 percentage points

  1. Robertson, Qld (Unit)

May 2021: $400 (Vacancy rate:  1.5 per cent)

May 2022: $365 (Vacancy rate: 2.6 per cent)

1.1 percentage points jump in vacancy rates

Where vacancy rates are bucking the national trend
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