National Rental Vacancy Rates Remain Stable

New data released by SQM Research today has revealed the national residential rental vacancy rate has remained stable in March 2020 at 2.0% since last month, with the total number of vacancies Australia-wide now at 67,371 vacant residential properties. Buy Home In Australia

Most states recorded minor 0.1% declines in vacancy rates with the exception of Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin which were stable.

The year on year comparison revealed a minor decline when the national rental vacancy rate in March 2019 was 2.1% compared to 2.0% recorded for March 2020.

Only Melbourne and Hobart recorded higher vacancy rates compared to this time last year.

Key Points

  • National residential rental vacancy rate has remained stable in March 2020 at 0% since last month, with the total number of vacancies Australia-wide now at 67,371 vacant residential properties.
  • Most states recorded minor 1% declines in vacancy rates with the exception of Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin which were stable.
  • Over the month, Capital city asking rents decreased 2% for houses and 2.9% for units for the week ending 12 April 2020 to record asking rents of $544 per week for houses and $428 per week for units.
City Mar-19
Vacancies
Mar-19
Vacancy Rate
Feb-20
Vacancies
Feb-20
Vacancy Rate
Mar-20
Vacancies
Mar-20
Vacancy Rate
Sydney 21,942 3.1% 20,815 2.9% 21,443 2.9%
Melbourne 9,210 1.6% 11,085 1.9% 11,091 1.9%
Brisbane 8,232 2.5% 7,530 2.2% 7,299 2.1%
Perth 6,085 2.9% 4,323 2.0% 4,023 1.9%
Adelaide 2,024 1.1% 1,953 1.0% 1,761 0.9%
Canberra 575 0.9% 651 1.0% 589 0.9%
Darwin 1,153 3.7% 879 2.7% 853 2.7%
Hobart 131 0.4% 267 0.9% 238 0.8%
National 70,877 2.1% 68,079 2.0% 67,371 2.0%

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.

The minor decline in most capital cities’ vacancy rates for March was somewhat surprising given the uncertainty around economy.

With job losses, a freeze in migration and an expected sharp rise in short-term accommodation vacancies, we are likely to record significant increases in rental vacancy rates as 2020 progresses.

Let’s keep in mind our methodology requires a property to be advertised for three weeks or longer before we regard it as unoccupied.

We note the 3.2% drop in asking rents for houses over the month which may well be as a result of many short-term accommodation dwellings entering into the longer term leasing market, and overall, a sign of things to come.

Asking Rents

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart all recorded decreases in asking rents for both houses and units over the month.  Rent

Perth and Adelaide were the only capital cities to record rent increases for both houses and units.

Perth increased by 1.9% for houses and 0.8% for units, whilst Adelaide recorded a 0.3% increase for houses and 1.4% for units.

Canberra and Darwin recorded increases in house asking rents with Canberra increasing by 2.6% and Darwin 0.1%.

However, both cities had declines in unit prices over the month.

Canberra declined by 0.1% and Darwin by 0.6%.

SQM Research Weekly Rents Index
Week ending: 12 April 2020 Rent Change on
previous week
Rolling month
% change
12 month
% change
Sydney All Houses 667.3 -13.3 -4.9% -4.7%
All Units 484.9 -6.9 -3.1% -4.3%
Melbourne All Houses 543.9 -4.9 -1.2% 0.1%
All Units 415.4 -4.4 -1.7% -1.6%
Brisbane All Houses 461.4 -4.4 -1.9% 1.0%
All Units 376.6 -0.6 -0.5% 1.5%
Perth All Houses 457.3 -0.3 1.9% 2.8%
All Units 347.5 -0.5 0.8% 3.3%
Adelaide All Houses 407.7 -0.7 0.3% 3.9%
All Units 313.2 0.8 1.4% 4.0%
Canberra All Houses 647.7 0.3 2.6% 2.0%
All Units 464.1 -1.1 -0.1% 1.8%
Darwin All Houses 467.4 -2.4 0.1% -4.8%
All Units 361.4 -0.4 -0.6% -4.2%
Hobart All Houses 442.4 -7.4 -2.5% 3.3%
All Units 392.9 -4.9 -3.9% 7.2%
National All Houses 442.0 -2.0 -1.8% 0.2%
All Units 367.0 -2.0 0.5% 0.5%
Cap City Average All Houses 544.0 -9.0 -3.2% -2.2%
All Units 428.0 -5.0 -2.9% -2.9%

Source: www.sqmresearch.com.au

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. S

QM 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.

Over the month, Capital city asking rents decreased 3.2% for houses and 2.9% for units for the week ending 12 April 2020 to record asking rents of $544 per week for houses and $428 per week for units.

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Louis Christopher

About

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.
Visit www.SQMResearch.com.au


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