Property Vacancies Spike | Louis Christopher

The number of residential vacancies nationally has picked back up slightly during November.

A vacancy rate of 2.2% was recorded nationally, and 65,777 vacancies.renters market

Vacancies appear to be following the common seasonal trends expected at this time of year, where rental accommodation tends to become more available for a variety of factors.

Key Points

  • Nationally, vacancies rose during November, recording a vacancy rate of 2.2% and coming to a total of 66, 777 nationally.
  • Darwin recorded the highest vacancy rate of the capital cities, revealing a vacancy rate of 2.8% and a total of 762 vacancies.
  • Hobart has recorded the tightest vacancy rate of the capital cities, revealing a vacancy rate of 1.1% and a total of 310 vacancies.
  • Darwin has recorded the highest yearly increases in vacancies, climbing by 1.5 percentage points to 2.8% since the corresponding period of the previous year (November 2013) and coming to a total and 762 vacancies.
  • Both Melbourne and Hobart recorded the largest yearly decrease in vacancies, falling by 0.3 of a percentage point to 2.7% and 1.1% respectively since the corresponding period of the previous year (November 2013).
  • Darwin recorded the highest monthly increase in vacancy rate, rising by 0.6 of a percentage point to 2.8% during November.
  • Hobart has recorded the largest monthly decline in vacancy rates, dropping by 0.2 of a percentage point to 1.1% during November 2014.

vacancy rate take 2

More details

The most predominant of these factors is that as University sessions finish for the year, many students vacate their rental accommodation as it is no longer needed over the longer summer break.

Perth and Darwin have continued to record alarming increases in vacancies, whilst many of the other capital cities have remained stable year-on-year.

However, Hobart and Melbourne have recorded yearly declines.house_rent October

SQM Research believes the falls in Hobart most likely relate to the recovery in its local economy, in turn being benefited from the lower Australian dollar helping its local tourist industry.

The declines in Melbourne on the other hand, have been a little more difficult to assess, but this may be a result of a brief lull in construction activity, or possible a recent surge in its local population.

On a year-on-year basis we are seeing rises in Darwin and Perth.

The reasons for the rises in Darwin and Perth are pretty clear in the sense that it is related to the ongoing mining downturn, causing a lot of loss of employment, particularly temporary/contract jobs.”

As can be seen from the table below  asking rents in both Perth and Darwin have dramatically decreased since this period last year, both for house and units – with Darwin recording a -10.8% decrease in asking rents for houses and -0.3% for units, and Perth recording a -9.5% decrease in asking rents for houses and -9.3% decrease for units.

sqm chart


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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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