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Vacancy Rates Dips in October

Data released by SQM Research this week has revealed the national residential vacancy rate was 2.1% in October 2017, with the number of vacancies Australia-wide falling to 67,781 – a slight drop on the month of September.

Hobart's vacancy rate fell to a record low of 0.3%.  house-price-drop-property-market-crash-loss-low

Hobart’s vacancy rate is now the lowest on record since SQM started recording data in 2005.

In Adelaide, the vacancy rate dropped to 1.4% from 1.6% in September and down from 2.0% a year earlier. In Canberra, the vacancy rate dropped to 0.8% from 1.0% in September.

In the bigger cities, vacancies fell in Sydney to 12,435 in October, down from 13,114 in September, giving a vacancy rate of 1.9%, down from 2.1% the previous month.

In Melbourne, the vacancy rate fell to 1.8% with 9,390 rental properties available.

Vacancy Rates

Key Points

  • Nationally, vacancies fell in October to 67,781, recording a vacancy rate of 2.1%, down from 2.2% in September.
  • Hobart recorded the lowest vacancy rate of 0.3%, a record low and down from 0.5% a year earlier.
  • Perth recorded the highest vacancy rate of the capital cities at 4.1% in October, but down from 4.9% a year ago.
  • Adelaide’s vacancy rate was 1.4%, down from 1.6% in September.

Elsewhere, the vacancy dropped in Perth to 4.1% from 4.5% in October, but is still the highest of any capital city.  

Darwin’s vacancy rate fell from 2.7% to 2.5% over the month. 

The vacancy numbers highlighted tighter rental markets in many capital cities.

We’ve seen big falls in Perth and Adelaide and even Brisbane appears to be recording a slight trend downwards right now.

However, we expect vacancies to rise in November and December due to seasonality such as students finishing up their semester and heading home, which may take some pressure off rents.

In Hobart, the shortage of rental accommodation is the most severe, with just 75 properties available for rent in October, prompting a record low vacancy rate of 0.3% and higher asking rents, especially for units which were up 7.9% over the month to 12 November.

Asking Rents

Capital city asking rents over the month to 12 November fell 0.4% to $548 a week for houses.

Unit asking rents rose 0.2% to $439 a week. rent property

Asking house rents jumped the most in Canberra by 2.6% over the month while asking rents for units jumped the most in Hobart by 7.9%.

In contrast, asking rents for houses moderated slightly in Sydney to be down 1.1% over the month.

The asking rent for a three-bedroom house in Sydney remains the highest in the nation at $731 a week while for units it stands at $523.

Canberra follows at $595 a week for houses and $429 for units.

Asking rents for houses rose in Melbourne, up 0.2% over the month to $510 while unit asking rents fell 0.5% over the month to $393 a week.

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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