Figures released by SQM Research this week have revealed that the number of national residential vacancies dropped in August.
73,451 vacancies, giving a vacancy rate of 2.3%, with vacancies dropping in all capital cities, pushing up rents in most locations, especially in Sydney and Melbourne where the vacancy rates are now below 2%.
- Nationally, vacancies fell slightly during August 2016, recording a rate of 2.3%, based on 73,451 vacancies.
- Perth recorded the highest vacancy rate in August 2016 of 5.0% based on 10,303 vacancies. Year on year, vacancy rates climbed 1.3 percentage points.
- Year on year, vacancy rates are down for Canberra, Hobart, Darwin and Melbourne.
- Hobart recorded the lowest vacancy rate during August 2016 – 0.5%.
- Over the past 12 months, Perth has recorded ongoing falls in asking rents of 9.6% for houses and 11.4% for units.
- Rents remain under pressure in Darwin too as the mining downturn weighs on demand.
The biggest capital cities Sydney and Melbourne recorded vacancies rates of 1.7% and 1.9%, respectively, while Hobart had the tightest rate at just 0.5%.
In contrast, Perth recorded the highest vacancy rate of 5.0% in August, though it fell by 0.2 percentage points from a record high of 5.2% in July.
Year-on-year results demonstrate that the national vacancy rate is steady from this time last year.
Reflecting a high vacancy rate, Perth has recorded big falls in asking rents of 9.6% for houses and 11.4% for units over the past 12 months.]
Yearly falls have also been recorded in Darwin, with asking rents down 1.5% for houses and 5.5% for units.
In contrast, asking rents jumped in Canberra, up 12.1% for houses and 9.6% for units.
Despite a very tight vacancy rate, Hobart continues to record the most affordable rental accommodation with rents for houses at just $343 a week and units averaging $279 a week.
Vacancy rates have edged down in all capital cities.
Reflecting that, asking rents have jumped in some cities, including Sydney where the asking rent for a three-bedroom house jumped 4.8% to $713 a week over the year to September 20 and in Melbourne, rents jumped to $486, up 3.4%.
Perth continues to be the ongoing exception with asking rents still falling as the mining downturn weighs on prices, despite a slightly lower vacancy rate.
Looking forward, fears of an apartment oversupply in Melbourne, if true, cannot come soon enough, as at present, having a vacancy rate trending down below 2% is highly suggestive that landlords are in control of the market.
Sydney is likely to remain a landlord’s market as the city’s growing population creates demand for new stock.
The only area right now where we are recording sustained increases in vacancies is the Hills District.