Vacancy rates fall slightly

Vacancy rates fall slightly

New figures released by SQM Research this week show that the number of national residential vacancies edged down in October, with 74,368 rental homes available, giving a national vacancy rate of 2.3 per cent, down from 2.4 per cent in September 2016.


The country’s largest capitals, Sydney and Melbourne, recorded vacancies rates of 1.7 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively, down marginally from September 2016, while Brisbane’s rate rose to 3.0 per cent, up from 2.9 per cent, one of only two capital cities to record a rise, along with Darwin (up to 3.2 per cent from 3.1 per cent).

Perth reported the highest vacancy rate at 4.9 per cent, though it was down slightly from the previous month. Hobart had the tightest rate at just 0.5 per cent, down from 0.6 per cent. Year-on-year results demonstrate that the national vacancy rate is steady.

Asking rents

Sydney remains the most expensive city for rents in Australia, with asking rents for houses sitting at $738 a week and $510 for units. Asking rents have surged in Canberra, up 9.3 per cent for houses and 8.0 per cent for units from a year earlier.

Despite a tight vacancy rate, Hobart continues to offer the most affordable rental accommodation, with houses costing just $356 a week and units averaging $297 a week.

Reflecting its high vacancy rate, Perth has recorded falls in asking rents of 11.0 per cent for houses and 10.7 per cent for units over the past 12 months. Yearly falls have also been posted in Darwin, with asking rents down 2.5 per cent for houses and 3.1 per cent for units.

In Brisbane too, asking rents are down 1.8 per cent for houses and up just 1.1 per cent for units.

Managing director of SQM Research Louis Christopher says: “Asking rents have slipped back in Brisbane as vacancy rates have continued to rise this year.

“At 3.0 per cent, the rental market is finally favouring tenants and given the surge in new apartment supply, rents in Brisbane could continue to fall from here, particularly in the inner city.

“Vacancies are likely to rise in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney over 2017, as more new high-rise apartment developments come onto the market.

“However, we believe that oversupply will largely be limited to inner-city areas where apartment supply is rising the most, which will temper rental growth,” he adds.




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