Latest state by state vacancy rates. Louis Christopher

Figures released by SQM Research this week, reveal that the level of residential property rental vacancies remained steady during the month of July, stagnating at a vacancy rate of 2.2% and coming to a total of 61,117 nationwide.

However, this figure still represents a 0.3% increase in vacancies since this month last year, with Canberra and Perth showing particularly substantial yearly increases, indicating that the rental market is slowly but surely beginning to loosen up on a national level.July2013VacancyRates

Key Points

  • Nationally, vacancies remained steady at 2.2% during July 2013, coming to a total of 61,117 nationally.
  • Melbourne has recorded the highest vacancy rate of the capital cities, revealing a vacancy rate of 2.7% and a total of 11,537.
  • Darwin has recorded the tightest vacancy rate of the capital cities, revealing a vacancy rate of 0.8% and a total of 197 vacancies.
  • Canberra and Perth have both recorded the highest yearly increase in vacancies, climbing 0.7% to 1.8% and 1.6% respectively since the corresponding period of the previous year (July 2012) and coming to a total of 964 vacancies and 3,032 respectively.
  • Hobart was the capital city to record the largest yearly decrease in vacancies, falling by 0.5% to 2.2% since the corresponding period of the previous year (July 2012).
  • Perth and Canberra were the only capital cities to record monthly increases in vacancies, both rising by 0.1% during July 2013.
  • Hobart recorded the largest monthly decline of the capital cities, falling by 0.3% during July 2013.


“It is very clear that residential property vacancy rates are starting to mimic certain economic realities in the marketplace. I am not surprised at all that vacancy rates in Perth and Canberra continue to rise. In both instances we are well aware of the local economic challenges currently facing those two cities.”


Similar to SQM Research’s stock on market figures for this month, each capital city tells a different story, in particular Melbourne – which appears to be falling from its long standing trend of recording elevated vacancy rates. Melbourne has dropped by 0.2% during the month of July, coming back down to a vacancy rate of 2.7%.

Hobart has also recorded a notable monthly decline, falling by 0.3% during July 2013, to reveal a vacancy rate of 2.2% – the capital city’s lowest vacancy rate since March.

The remainder of the capital cities remained fairly steady on a monthly basis, indicating that there has not been a substantial exodus of renters or a notable influx of supply of rental dwellings month-on-month.

However, it is SQM Research’s belief that with Spring on its way, we will soon potentially see a rise in vacancies as first home buyers take advantage of the record low interest rates to exit the rental market in favour of purchasing their first property.

SQM Research will be discussing our outlook on the residential property market at our upcoming inaugural property event “An Afternoon of Property” on the 19th of September at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney. For more details regarding this, click here


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Louis Christopher


Louis is recognised as one of Australia’s most respected and impartial research property analyst. He has extensive knowledge and experience of property and is regularly quoted in the media on his insights and is director of SQM Research.

'Latest state by state vacancy rates. Louis Christopher' have 2 comments


    August 20, 2013 Karl Glode

    Hi Louis, thank you for the opportunity to post a comment. I live in Ipswich, Qld and I have always read Michaels email, I have been a reader for many years.
    I would like to see more info about cities that have an equal or greater population that the smallest capital which I suppose is Darwin or Hobart. It seems to me that the statistic Nationally would be somewhat different if my suggestion was taken on board.
    So is it possible to obtain these numbers from you in your capacity as a property adviser?
    Thanks for the opportunity to comment


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