The national residential rental vacancy rate recorded a decrease over the month from 2.5% in May to 2.2% in June 2020.
The financial year ended with the total number of vacancies Australia-wide now at 77,132 vacant residential properties.
This time last year, the national vacancy rate was slightly higher at 2.3%.
All capital cities recorded declines in vacancy rates over the month. Sydney currently has the highest vacancy rate in the nation at 3.8%, having declined by 0.2%, followed by Melbourne with a vacancy rate of 3.0%, declining by 0.1%.
Hobart’s vacancy rate is the lowest in the nation at 0.9%, having declined by 0.4% over the month.
Darwin recorded the largest decline in rental vacancy rate of 0.5% to now record a low vacancy rate of 1.8%.
|City||June 2019 Vacancies||June 2019
|May 2020 Vacancies||May 2020
|June 2020 Vacancies||June 2020
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.
Even among the capital city CBD locations, there have been declines in vacancy rates over the month. Sydney CBD has dropped to 13.8%, down from 16.2% in May, Melbourne’s CBD and Melbourne Southbank have also declined to 8.8% and 16.2% respectively.
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Over the month, Capital City asking rents decreased 3.1% for houses and 4.5% for units for the week ending 12 July 2020 to record asking rents of $534 per week for houses and $421 per week for units.
|SQM Research Weekly Rents Index|
|Week ending: 12 Jul 2020||Rent||Change on
|Cap City Average||All Houses||534.0||-3.0||-0.7%||-3.1%|
We believe the surprise fall in vacancy rates is due to Airbnb property owners giving up on the longer-term leasing market and moving back to short term leasing, especially in light of the July school holiday period and the opening of some state borders.
The fall in rents over the same period for a numbers of our capital cities suggests that the weakness in the rental market remains.
Going forward, our expectation is the Australian rental market will remain weak for the duration of 2020 or until such time as the international border reopens and we as a community have past the worst of COVID19.