Alarming residential vacancies recorded in two capital cities

by Julia Corderoy20 Jan 2016
Two Australian capital cities have continued to record alarming increases in residential vacancies, new data has revealed.

Residential vacancy rates in Perth and Darwin rose to 4.1% and 4.2% in December 2015 – more than tripling the vacancy rate in Hobart, which recorded the tightest rental market at a vacancy rate of 1.1%. Sydney’s vacancy rate came in at 2.1% and Melbourne’s was recorded at 2.8%, according to the data from SQM Research.

In conjunction with surging vacancy rates, Darwin has recorded a fall in asking rents of 12.3% for houses and 11.2% for units over the past 12 months. Perth also recorded significant yearly falls with asking rents down 9.6% for houses and 9.7% for units. 

Not surprisingly, Hobart recorded the fastest rental rises for the capital cities with asking rents rising 6.9% for houses. Rents for units on the other hand underperformed, falling by 1.6% over 2015. 

Managing director of SQM Research, Louis Christopher, says Perth and Darwin are continuing to struggle against commodities downturn.

“This is as a result of a combination of factors including the strong upswing in residential dwelling construction which commenced back in 2013 and will continue on into 2016; as well as the commodities downturn which has hurt the economies of Perth and Darwin.”

However, Hobart still has the most affordable rental accommodation with rents for houses at just $340 a week, while units on average rent for $270 a week. By comparison, houses rent for $565 a week in Darwin and $479 in Perth, on average. Renting a unit costs $458 in Darwin and $376 in Perth.