Housing market sees increase in vacant rentals – report

Weekly rents are still expected to increase

Housing market sees increase in vacant rentals – report


By Abigail Adriatico

Australia’s housing market saw an increase in the number of vacant rental properties in April, according to a report by PropTrack.

In its Rental Vacancy Rates report for April 2024, it was found that the national vacancy rate increased by 0.09%, reaching a total of 1.21%.

“While vacancy eased in April, conditions remain incredibly tough for renters, with just 1.21% of rental properties sitting vacant over the month. This is less than half the level that is considered a healthy rate of vacancy,” said Anne Flaherty, an economist at PropTrack.

“With vacant properties scarce, homes that do come up for rent are continuing to see high levels of competition, which is driving rent prices higher.”

Areas that saw the largest vacancy increases over the month of April were Perth and Canberra, which saw a growth of 0.18 percentage points, increasing to 1.05% and 1.56%, respectively. Hobart and Sydney followed with a 0.16 and 0.14-percentage-point increase, respectively. Melbourne saw an increase by 0.09 percentage points to 1.23% in April.

“The situation for renters is similar across both capital city and regional areas, with each seeing vacancy at 1.2% in April,” Flaherty said.

“Compared to 12 months ago, regional areas have seen the greatest deterioration in rental conditions, with vacancy down 0.25 percentage points compared to a 0.15-percentage-point drop in the cities.”

Meanwhile, the vacancy rate in Brisbane held steady at 1.02%, which was only a 0.03-percentage-point increase – the second-lowest vacancy rate in all of the markets in the country. The area with the lowest vacancy rate was Adelaide, with only 0.96% of rental properties vacant, even with a 0.13 percentage point increase in availability.

“Adelaide has cemented its place as the most difficult city to find a rental and was the only capital to see its vacancy rate sitting below 1% in April,” said Flaherty.

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