The national residential rental vacancy rate fell to 1.8% over the month of May 2021 from 1.9% in April, with vacancy rates continuing to fall Australia-wide, forcing up in rents, particularly in regional locations.
Vacancy rates also receded from very high levels in the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs.
The total number of vacancies Australia-wide now stands at 62,144 residential properties, down from 66,411 in April.
Melbourne’s vacancy rate fell to 3.7% in May from 4.0% in April, while in Sydney it dropped to 2.9% from 3.1%.
In Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin, and Hobart, the vacancy rate remained below 1.0%, while Brisbane’s rate fell to 1.3% from 1.4%.
Vacancy rates fell in the Sydney CBD and Melbourne CBD to 6.8% and 8.0%, respectively, but remain elevated due to apartment oversupply in those areas.
SQM’s calculations of vacancies are based on online rental listings that have been advertised for three weeks or more compared to the total number of established rental properties. SQM considers this to be a superior methodology compared to using a potentially incomplete sample of agency surveys or merely relying on raw online listings advertised. Please go to our Methodology page for more information on how SQM’s vacancies are compiled.
Rental vacancy rates have fallen across the board in May, driving rents higher, especially in regional locations.
This trend is likely to remain through the second half of the year, given the fierce competition for rental accommodation in many areas.
We are still seeing falling vacancies everywhere from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, the Gold Coast, right through to inland areas like the Murray Regions of NSW and South Australia to outback Northern Territory, along with Darwin, which is having the effect of boosting rents as tenants compete for rental homes.
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However, vacancy rates rose for the NSW North Coast, as some renters headed back to town and we also saw a rise in vacancy accommodation in Perth, though the rate was unchanged.
In addition, in what is long-awaited news for landlords in the Melbourne and Sydney CBDs, vacancy rates have fallen there too.
Those vacancy rates could begin a downward trend over the second half of 2021, particularly in Sydney, as life resumes relative normality.
However, the loss of international student tenants, along with unit oversupply, will keep vacancy rates relatively high as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Over the month to 12 June 2021, capital city average asking rents rose 0.5% for houses to $559 per week but fell 0.2% for units to $410.
Over the year, capital city rents rose 3.9% for houses, but fell 3.5% for units.
Melbourne and Sydney unit rents are down substantially by 11.0% and 5.1% while house rents have fallen 4.8% over the year in Melbourne.
Nationally, rents rose 15.1% for houses over the year and 6.6% for units.
Again, that growth has been fuelled by strong rises in rents in regional locations where there is a shortage of rental accommodation.