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Small gains in NSW vacancies do little to stem rental crisis

By Juliet Helmke
19 July 2022 | 11 minute read
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After hitting a historic low in May, vacancy rates in Sydney loosened slightly during the month of June.

The nation’s most populous city received some necessary respite from a tight rental market last month, with the city-wide vacancy rate rising to 2 per cent in June, up from a five-year low of 0.2 per cent last month. 

Tim McKibbin, chief executive of the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW), attributed this lift to vacancies in the inner ring increasing to 2.9 per cent — a rise of 0.6 per cent — which offset decreases elsewhere. The middle ring saw a drop of 0.2 per cent, now sitting at 1.4 per cent, while the outer ring fell 0.1 per cent to reach 1.5 per cent.

Beyond the capital, regional areas saw marginal fluctuations.

“In the Hunter region, the vacancy rate rose by 0.4 per cent to be 1.7 per cent,” Mr McKibbin reported. Meanwhile, “the Illawarra region dropped slightly to 0.9 per cent,” he said, a 0.1 per cent decrease.

Further to that, Mr McKibbin noted: “Vacancy rates for the Central Coast, Central West, Mid-North Coast, New England, Northern Rivers, Orana, Riverina and South Coast areas all recorded slight increases. However, the Albury, Coffs Harbour, Murrumbidgee and south eastern areas each dropped.”

The industry representative said that while it was comforting to see some jumps in the number of available properties after last month’s dire figures, the situation was still grim for the state’s prospective tenants.

“While there have been slight increases in the availability of rental accommodation across many areas in New South Wales, there’s no denying that the rental crisis continues to take hold,” Mr McKibbin said.

He reported that property managers across the board are feeling the pinch, with many voicing concerns that the state of the market is further discouraging turnover.

“REINSW members continue to report an extreme shortage of stock. Many tenants are staying put, despite rent increases, for fear they will not be able to secure another suitable property. And more and more stock is exiting the rental market, as landlords sell up and home buyers move in,” he added.

Ultimately, Mr McKibbin said there was more work to be done to return the state’s rental landscape to a healthy state of affairs.

“In short, there are simply not enough properties in the rental pool to satisfy tenant demand,” he said.

Small gains in NSW vacancies do little to stem rental crisis
TimMcKibbin reb
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Juliet Helmke

Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.

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