Vacancy Rates Continue to Rise

SQM Research have this week have revealed the number of residential vacancies climbed up across the nation in April 2015, with a vacancy rate of 2.3% posted based on 69,295 vacancies, up from 2.1% in February when vacancies were 63,906.

Rises were recorded in all capital cities, excluding Hobart where the vacancy rate remained unchanged.

Key Points

  •  Nationally, vacancies rose during April 2015, recording a vacancy rate of 2.3%, up from 2.1% in March, coming to a total of 69,295 vacancies nationally.vacancy
  • During April, the vacancy climbed the most in Canberra, up from 1.5% in March to a modest 1.9%.
  • Hobart recorded the tightest vacancy rate at 1.4%, the same from March 2015 and up 0.1 percentage points from this same time last year.
  • Darwin recorded the highest vacancy rate of the capital cities at 3.5% in April 2015 based on a total of 976 vacancies.
  • Darwin recorded the highest yearly increases in vacancies, climbing by 1.4 percentage points from a year earlier.
  • Perth’s vacancy rate was 3.0% in April 2015, up 0.3% from March 2015 and up 0.6 percentage points from a year earlier.

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

Over the year, vacancy rates in Canberra have remained tight with a small 0.1% jump from this time last year.

Modest climbs were also posted in Sydney and Adelaide.

lc3Year-on-year, vacancy rates continue to rise in Darwin and Perth.

Darwin has posted the biggest yearly rise in its vacancy rate to 3.5% from 2.1%, reflecting the continued impact of the commodities downturn weighing down on employment and property markets in that city.

Perth has also recorded ongoing yearly rises with vacancy rates leaping from 2.4% to 3 percentage points in April 2015.

Asking rents

Notably, our research data records falling asking rents in Perth, Canberra and, in particular Darwin, which has recorded a fall in asking rents of 14.5% for houses and 6.3% for units for the past 12 months.

In contrast, Sydney has recorded a rise of 3.6% for houses and 1.1% for units. Asking rents in Adelaide and Hobart also recorded modest rises for the same period.

The rental market remains in its slow down phase and I believe the rental market overall is going to remain soft for some time to come.

Some regions may beat this outlook such as South East Queensland, parts of Melbourne and Hobart where tenancy demand is accelerating.

Darwin and Perth will continue to display weakness as the mining downturn continues to bite hard.



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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.

'Vacancy Rates Continue to Rise' have 1 comment


    May 23, 2015 em

    Just wondering how the rent index $values are sourced – whether they are actually available as statistics or calculated from some other figures – and if they are across all rented ‘units’ or ‘houses’ or subcategory. Thanks.


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