Rental vacancies dip for second consecutive month

by Julia Corderoy20 Nov 2014
National residential vacancies dipped slightly during October, recording a vacancy rate of 2.1%, or 62,947 vacancies.

According to the figures released by SQM Research, this is the second consecutive monthly decrease in rental listings off the back of a period of reasonable stability. However, SQM Research’s historical data has revealed that this is a pattern which has been repeated over the last several years, and thus is more than likely a seasonal decrease.

Year on year, vacancy rates on a national level have remained stable, with only a 0.1% increase recorded when compared to October 2013. However, drastic yearly changes have occurred on a capital city basis. 

Perth and Darwin have both revealed massive surges in vacancies since this time last year – Perth vacancy rates rose by 0.9% while Darwin’s rose by 2.1% over the year. This has been the trend in recent months and is largely attributed in the downturn in the mining boom, to which both these cities are highly sensitive. The remainder of the capital cities have either steadied or recorded minor decreases.

Perth, Darwin and Canberra have all experienced yearly falls in asking rental prices for both houses and units when compared to this week last year, while the remaining capital cities all experienced increases. 

“The rental market was steady over the month with the trends observed over the course of the year, continuing on in October. We continue to see ongoing rental weakness in Perth and Darwin. Canberra is now providing signals that perhaps the worst of the rental downturn is over with a slight fall in vacancies year on year and a rise in asking rents for the month,” Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM Research said.

“Sydney appears to be the strongest rental market right now with asking rents (for houses) up by 6.8% for the past 12 months, though I am expecting rental growth to slow in 2015 due to the increased completion of new stock on the market for that city.”