Melbourne rental market looking 'ominous'

by Adam Smith01 Feb 2012

The Melbourne rental market is looking "ominous" for landlords with vacancy rates set to climb.

New data from SQM Research has indicated a significant rise in vacancies across capital cities for December, but SQM has put the result predominantly down to a normal seasonal increase.

The Melbourne market, however, has continued to trend upward in a fashion the research firm said indicated an oversupply issue.

"Over the course of 2011, a steady increase in vacancy rates has been recorded for Melbourne, peaking in December with 16,007 vacancies, an amount that goes beyond merely seasonal factors," SQM said.

The company's managing director, Louis Christopher, predicted that January will see vacancies once again tighten across most capital cities, but that Melbourne seems set to experience a glut of rental properties.

"Melbourne is looking ominous and we are expecting rental declines for this capital city for 2012. Melbourne has definitely become a renter's market, and landlords can no longer be expected to extract higher rents in Melbourne," Christopher said.

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