Vacancy Rates Steady

The national residential vacancy rate was steady at 2.1% in September 2018, though Sydney’s vacancy rate remained at its highest level in 13 years, while Hobart’s vacancy rate slipped to just 0.4% and Canberra’s tightened to 0.6%.

The number of vacancies Australia-wide sat at 70,172 properties. Sydney’s vacancy rate was unchanged at 2.8% in September from August with 19,469 properties available for rent.  Melbourne’s vacancy rate rose to 1.7% in September from 1.6% in August with 9,676 dwellings available for rent.


Key Points Australia National House States

  • Nationally, the vacancy rate was steady at 2.1% in September from August.
  • Sydney’s vacancy rate remained at a 13-year high of 2.8%.
  • Hobart recorded the lowest vacancy rate of 0.4%.
  • Melbourne’s vacancy rate inched higher to 1.7% in September.
  • Capital city asking rents for houses were steady over the month to 12 October 2018 at $552 a week
  • Capital city asking rents for units fell over the month by 0.7% to $437 a week

Elsewhere, Brisbane’s vacancy rate rose to 2.9% from 2.8% in September, but was down from 3.5% a year ago.

Perth’s vacancy rate fell to 3.6% from 3.7% from August, being well down from 4.9% a year ago as the oversupply of rental properties. 

Darwin’s vacancy rate rose to 3.6% from 3.5% while Adelaide’s slipped to just 1.1% from 1.2%.

There is now an extreme shortage of rental accommodation in Hobart with just over 100 properties vacant and available to rent.

Hobart rents have already been rising well above the national average for the past three years and I think that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future as the construction pipeline is not keeping up with underlying demand.

There is a similar situation in Canberra.

While we may speak of a surplus of rental properties in our largest city Sydney, this is a timely reminder that we have a mixed national housing market overall.

Capital city asking rents for houses were steady over the month to 12 October 2018 at $552 a week.

Unit asking rents fell to 0.7% to $437 a week.

Over the year, asking rents for houses rose just 0.4% while unit asking rents slipped 0.2%.

The asking rent for a three-bedroom house in Sydney remains the highest nationwide at $714 a week and $513 a week for two-bedroom units.

Asking unit rents were down 0.4% in Sydney over the month while asking house rents rose 0.9%.

Asking rents in Melbourne have fallen, with unit down 0.7% over the month to 12 October to $406 a week while asking rents for houses fell 0.5% to $524.




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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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