Sydney A ‘Tenant’s Market’ as Vacancy Rises Across Australia


The national residential vacancy rate has increased in December in almost every state in Australia, with the number of vacancies Australia-wide climbing to 80,092.

Findings released by SQM research this month revealed there were 70,795 vacancies nationally in November (2.2 per cent), increasing to 2.5 per cent in December.

Vacancies increased materially in Sydney to 2.6 per cent in December, up from 2.1 per cent in November. Melbourne also recorded increases with the vacancy rate now at 2.1 per cent, up from 1.8 per cent, however Melbourne’s vacancy rate was lower than recorded in December 2016. Brisbane’s vacancy rate rose from 3.4 per cent to 3.8 per cent over the month.

SQM research managing director Louis Christopher chalked the vacancy rise up to seasonal trends.

“The rise in vacancies continue into December due to seasonality and those in Hobart and Canberra continue to face ongoing tight rental conditions and higher rents,” he said.

“However, the rise in Sydney was larger than expected; if these current vacancy rate levels hold in January and February, Sydney will be a tenant’s market in 2018.”

Hobart, however, recorded to lowest vacancy rate in the country, with numbers remaining at 0.3 per cent since October.

[Related reading: Residential Vacancy Rates Drop as Population Growth Fuels Demand]

Perth’s vacancy rate rose to 4.6 per cent from 4.5 per cent in November, and remained the highest of any capital city.

SQM revealed that asking rents for both houses and units rose marginally over the final months of 2017 and into January, with a 0.9 per cent jump in houses and a 0.7 per cent jump in units.

Sydney continued to record the highest asking rent in the nation for a three-bedroom house at $730.60 a week and also for units at $520.80, but it was Darwin which recorded the highest rent increase at 2.5 per cent for houses.

Asking rents for houses rose in Melbourne, up 1.4 per cent over the month to $522.30 while unit asking rents also rose 0.2 per cent over the month to $396.70 a week.

Price-wise across Australia, it meant that house dwellers in the capital cities were looking at an average of $555 a week to live, while people who live in apartment will need to fork out an average of $440 per week.


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