National Vacancy Rates Jump in April

The national residential rental vacancy rates surged in April 2019 to 2.3%, an increase from 2.1% in March.  

The total number of vacancies Australia-wide is now at 77,664 properties for rent, a rise of just under 10,000 dwellings over the past 12 months. 12353887_l

Darwin’s vacancy rate of 3.6% in April, was the only capital city to experience a decrease in vacancy rates of 0.1%, but it continues to rank the highest of all capital cities since it overtook Perth in September 2018.

Sydney rental vacancy rates leaped to 3.4%, an increase from 3.1% in March.

This represents a new record high for Sydney, based on SQM’s rental index which goes back to 2005.

Hobart’s vacancy rate increased to 0.6% in April and continues to record the lowest vacancy rate in the country since September 2014.

City Apr-2018 Vacancies Apr-2018 Vacancy Rate Mar-2019 Vacancies Mar-2019 Vacancy Rate Apr-2019 Vacancies Apr-2019 Vacancy Rate
Sydney 15,809 2.3% 21,942 3.1% 23,837 3.4%
Melbourne 7,317 1.3% 9,210 1.6% 10,565 1.8%
Brisbane 9,774 3.0% 8,232 2.5% 8,792 2.6%
Perth 8,245 4.1% 6,085 2.9% 6,568 3.2%
Adelaide 2,427 1.3% 2,024 1.1% 2,249 1.2%
Canberra 474 0.8% 575 0.9% 811 1.2%
Darwin 1,011 3.3% 1,153 3.7% 1,117 3.6%
Hobart 219 0.7% 131 0.4% 185 0.6%
National 67,854 2.1% 70,877 2.1% 77,664 2.3%

Key Points

  • National vacancy increased to 3% in April 2019, from 2.1% in March.
  • Darwin has recorded the highest of all capital cities at 6%.
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  • Sydney is not far behind with a vacancy rate of 4%, an increase from 3.1% in March
  • Capital city asking rents increased 2% for units, but declined 0.4% for houses over April to record asking rents of $554 per week for houses and $442 per week for units.

Tenancy demand has been weak over the course of March and April.

That combined with the expectation that dwelling completions are at their peak, prompted the rise in rental vacancies, which happened largely across the country, last month.

Going forward we expect rental vacancy rates will further rise in Sydney and Melbourne for most of 2019, before peaking and falling in 2020 as completions are forecasted to fall.

Asking Rents

Capital city asking rents increased 0.2% for units, but declined 0.4% for houses for the week ending 12 May to record asking rents of $554 per week for houses and $442 per week for units.

In comparison, over the 12 months, asking rents for units declined by 0.7% and rents for houses remained steady. Rent

Sydney’s asking rent for units and houses have both marginally declined by 0.3% for units and 1.5% for houses to 12 May.

Over 12 months, the decline has been 5.0% for house rents and 3.8% for units.

Perth’s rental market continued to increase over this period for both houses and units, at 0.5% and 0.2% respectively, as did Brisbane, with a 0.4% increase for houses and 0.6% for units.

Darwin experienced a marginal increase of 1.4% over the month in house rents, after a decrease of 8.0% over the 12 months.

However, units continue to slide at 1.7% over the month and 7.9% over the 12 months.

SQM Research Weekly Rents Index
Week ending: 12 May 2019 Rent $ Change on
previous week
Rolling month
% change
12 month
% change
Sydney All Houses 690.0 1.0 -1.5% -5.0%
All Units 505.2 -0.2 -0.3% -3.8%
Melbourne All Houses 542.4 -1.4 -0.2% 1.7%
All Units 422.5 1.5 0.0% 3.1%
Brisbane All Houses 458.5 0.5 0.4% 2.7%
All Units 373.2 0.8 0.6% 1.5%
Perth All Houses 447.0 0.0 0.5% 6.1%
All Units 337.2 0.8 0.2% 4.0%
Adelaide All Houses 391.6 -0.6 -0.2% 2.5%
All Units 302.9 0.1 0.5% 1.0%
Canberra All Houses 624.3 -6.3 -1.7% 0.9%
All Units 455.9 -0.9 0.0% 3.2%
Darwin All Houses 497.7 -1.7 1.4% -8.0%
All Units 370.6 -3.6 -1.7% -7.9%
Hobart All Houses 426.8 2.2 -0.3% 7.4%
All Units 374.8 12.2 2.3% 4.0%
National All Houses 443.0 2.0 0.5% 1.4%
All Units 363.0 -4.0 -0.5% 0.8%
Cap City Average All Houses 554.0 1.0 -0.4%  0.0%
All Units 442.0 2.0 0.2% -0.7%

Source: www.sqmresearch.com.au

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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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