Residential vacancies continue to climb in Perth

by John Maguire20 Apr 2016
New figures from SQM Research have found that for the third consecutive month Perth has the highest rate of vacancies among Australia’s capital cities.

The new data shows that overall, residential vacancies have remained tight during March, with the national vacancy rate being 2.3%, with 70,493 vacancies recorded. Year-on-year results show that national vacancies are slightly higher than common seasonal trends for this time of year.

Perth’s March vacancy rate sits at 4.9% (with 8,224 vacancies), compared with 3.9% in February. The Australian capital with the next highest vacancy rate is Darwin at 3.6%, with Brisbane third on 2.6%.

Canberra recorded the largest monthly fall, with vacancies down 0.2% during March. Melbourne also experienced a fall - of 0.1% for a relatively healthy vacancy rate of 1.9%. Vacancy rates in Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart remained the same over the month of March 2016.

The latest figures may be cause for alarm in Perth and Darwin when compared with the rates recorded for this time last year. For March 2015, Perth’s rate was just 2.7% (meaning an increase of 1.4% for March 2016), with Darwin’s at 3.4% (an increase of 0.2%).

Interpreting the figures, SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said, “Overall national vacancy rates remain steady, however there is contrast in the marketplace and some current misperceptions over areas of oversupply. Right now the data suggests the areas of oversupply are confined to Perth, Darwin and the Brisbane CBD.”

“Other bodies have suggested Melbourne should be classified as oversupplied. On this point, our data suggests otherwise. Vacancies rates for Melbourne have actually been in a downtrend now since 2014 and are now below 2%.”