National vacancy rates hit new low – SQM Research

Rents rise as availability plunges

National vacancy rates hit new low – SQM Research


By Mina Martin

SQM Research’s latest findings showed a significant drop in national vacancy rates and a continued rise in capital city asking rents, intensifying Australia’s rental market pressures.

Vacancy rates tighten across the board

January witnessed a notable decrease in national vacancy rates to 1.1% from December’s 1.3%. This reduction translates to 32,108 residential properties available for rent across Australia, down from December’s 39,797.

Major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, along with Canberra, Darwin, and Hobart, saw vacancy rates fall, with Perth and Adelaide maintaining rates below 1%.

Vacancy rates in central business districts of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane saw declines to 4.5%, 3.8%, and 2.5% respectively in January.

Rents on the rise

The rental market has experienced a 1.4% increase in capital city asking rents over the 30 days leading to Feb. 14, with a notable 12-month rise of 13.1%. This trend underscores the escalating rental crisis, with the national median weekly asking rent for a dwelling now at $614.54.

Sydney tops the chart with the highest weekly rent for a house at $1,037.08, while Adelaide remains the most affordable city for unit rentals at $451.20 per week.

The outlook: A rental market in crisis

Louis Christopher (pictured above), managing director of SQM Research, highlighted the sharp decline in rental vacancy rates as a result of increased demand, particularly from tertiary students and new workforce entrants at the beginning of the academic and fiscal year.

“It is a seasonal demand increase we see at the start of each and every year but is most certainly problematic due to the fact the current rental market remains in crisis,” Christopher said.

Looking ahead, Christopher suggested that the optimal outcome for renters would involve a significant slowdown in population growth to an increase of approximately 360,000 people this year, potentially leading to rent stabilisation starting from the June quarter. On the other hand, the most challenging scenario would occur if the population growth maintains its current pace.

Visit SQM Research website for the latest research and insights on the Australia property market.

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