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No change as NSW vacancy rates stay at ‘crisis levels’

By Juliet Helmke
18 June 2024 | 11 minute read
tim mckibbin REINSW 2024 reb ixbngj

The latest rental figures from the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW) show that reprieve for renters is still far off.

The body has characterised the state of the rental market’s housing stock as sitting at “crisis levels” after the vacancy rate in Sydney held steady at 1.5 per cent over the month of May 2024.

Rates in various rings across the capital did record some fluctuation, however, with vacancies dropping in both the inner and middle rings to sit at 1.6 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively. The outer ring climbed slightly to 1.5 per cent.


Outside of the city, the results were equally mixed with some regional areas recording slight gains while losses occurred in others.

In the Hunter area, the vacancy rate dropped to 1.4 per cent. The Illawarra area also saw a decline to 1.3 per cent.

The Coffs Harbour, Mid-North Coast, New England, Riverina and South East areas all saw vacancy rates tighten, but welcome rises were recorded on the Central Coast, Central West, Murrumbidgee, Northern Rivers and Orana.

But even in areas where rentals have increased, REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin noted that real estate professionals are reporting concerns about the ongoing state of the market.

“REINSW members across New South Wales continue to tell us that the rental market is extremely tough. In some areas, agents have a long list of pre-qualified tenants, but there’s simply not enough stock available to meet demand,” he said.

“Demand for rental accommodation certainly isn’t slowing. The residential rental market is fluctuating, but three things remain certain: the availability of stock is at an all-time low, weekly rents continue to rise, and tenants are faced with ever-increasing living costs.”

Unfortunately, REINSW’s projections do not forecast any future change.

“None of these things are showing signs of getting better – in fact, for many, they’re getting worse,” McKibbin said.


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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