National Vacancy Rates Continue to Rise

Figures released by SQM Research this week have revealed the number of residential vacancies climbed up across the nation in May 2015, with a vacancy rate of 2.4% posted based on 71,970 vacancies, up from 2.3% in April when vacancies were 69,295.

Rates climbed in most capital cities, excluding Canberra, Sydney and Darwin were vacancy rates remained the same.

Key Points

  • Nationally, vacancies rose during May 2015, recording a vacancy rate of 2.4%, up from 2.3% in April, coming to a total of 71,970 vacancies nationally.housing growth house price property market
  • During May, vacancy rates climbed the most in Perth, up from 3.0% in April to a high 3.4%.
  • Vacancy rates in Canberra, Sydney and Darwin remained the same from April 2015 to May 2015.
  • Darwin recorded the highest vacancy rate of the capital cities at 3.5% in May 2015 based on a total of 992 vacancies.
  • Darwin recorded the highest yearly increases in vacancies, climbing by 2.1 percentage points from a year earlier.
  • Vacancy rates in Sydney remained tight in May 2015, and are up a modest 0.1 percentage points from this time last year.

The biggest rise was recorded in Perth with a monthly change of 0.4 percentage points from April.

Over the year, vacancy rates in Perth have continued to climb with a significant 1.1% jump from this time last year.

Modest climbs were also posted in Adelaide.


Year-on-year, vacancy rates are down for Canberra, Melbourne and Hobart.

Canberra has posted the biggest yearly fall in its vacancy rate from 2.3% to 1.9%, reflecting the tightening of the market post downturn.

Hobart has also recorded ongoing yearly falls with vacancy rates dropping from 1.8% to 1.5% in May 2015.

Asking rents

Notably, SQM Research data records falling asking rents in Perth, Canberra and, in particular Darwin, which has recorded a fall in asking rents of 13.5% for houses and 5.7% for units for the past 12 months.

In contrast, Melbourne has recorded a rise of 3.3% for houses and 2.1% for units.

Asking rents in Sydney and Adelaide have also recorded modest rises for the same period.

SQM continue to record ongoing, yet gradual rises in rental vacancies across the country.

This has resulted in an overall stalling of weekly market rents without capital city asking rents recording largely unchanged rents for the last 12 months.

Holiday locations appear to be bucking the trend.

The Gold Coast for example is recording rental increases of around nine percent, year on year.

The is the fastest rental growth seen for The Gold Coast since the 1980’s.




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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.

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