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Vacancy Rates Dip in July - featured image

Vacancy Rates Dip in July

Data released by SQM Research has revealed the national residential vacancy rate dipped to 2.2% in July 2018.

The vacancy rate in Sydney remains at its highest level in 13 years, which has pushed down asking rents in the nation’s biggest city. Sydney Market Down

The number of vacancies Australia-wide sat at 72,458 properties.

Sydney’s vacancy rate was unchanged at 2.8% from June, the highest level since SQM started recording the data in 2005, and well up from 1.9% a year ago with 19,114 properties available for rent.

In contrast, to Sydney, Melbourne’s vacancy rate is much lower, just 1.6% in July, though unchanged from June and a year ago.

Vacancy Rates

Key Points

  • Nationally, the vacancy rate slipped to 2.2% in July from 2.3% June. 
  • Hobart recorded the lowest vacancy rate of 0.7%.
  • Perth recorded the highest vacancy rate of the capital cities at 4.0% in July, but that was down from 5.2% a year ago.
  • Melbourne’s vacancy rate was steady at 1.6% in July from June and a year ago.
  • Sydney’s vacancy rate remained at a 13-year high of 2.8%.
  • Capital city asking rents for houses fell over the month to 12 August 2018 by 0.2% to $548 a week
  • Capital city asking rents for units fell over the month to 12 August 2018 by 0.9% to $440 a week

Brisbane is enjoying a sustained reduction in its vacancy rate, falling to 2.9% in July, down from 3.0% in June and 3.6% in July 2017.

The decline in Brisbane follows five straight monthly declines in rental vacancies in the first half of 2018.

Canberra’s vacancy rate slipped to 0.8%, down from 0.9% in June and 1.1% a year ago.

Hobart's vacancy rate was steady at 0.7% in July, but up from 0.5% a year ago.

Adelaide’s vacancy rate fell to 1.3% from 1.5%, and down from 1.8% a year ago.

Darwin’s vacancy rate fell to 3.4% from 3.5% in June. Property Market

Perth’s vacancy rate slipped to 4.0%, and is well down from 5.2% a year earlier as the oversupply of rental properties eases in that city.

Asking rents had eased in Sydney given the greater supply of rental accommodation – and he expects rents to keep falling.

The supply of rental accommodation, especially of new units, has jumped following the building boom in the city.

Sydney has also experienced slowing population growth, which has helped to push asking rents lower, as landlords increasingly struggle to fill properties.

In contrast, the tight rental market in Hobart is continuing to push rents higher.

Asking Rents

Capital city asking rents for houses fell over the month to 12 August 2018 by 0.2% to $548 a week.

Unit asking rents dropped 0.9% to $440 a week. Property Market

Over the year, asking house rents rose just 0.2% and unit rents rose a modest 0.5%.

The asking rent for a three-bedroom house in Sydney is the highest nationwide at $707 a week, but fell 0.3% over the month to 12 August.

Asking unit rents now stand at $515, down 1.2%.

Canberra asking house rents stand at $626 a week and $437 for units.

Hobart’s unit asking rents jumped 3.7% over the month to 12 August to $360 a week while house rents rose 0.4% to $400.

Vacancy Rates2


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.
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