Renting now tougher after vacancy rates hit record low – PropTrack

Canberra and Sydney lead the declines

Renting now tougher after vacancy rates hit record low – PropTrack


By Mina Martin

It has become increasingly tough for Australians to rent a property, as the national vacancy rate plunged to a new low in August, according to PropTrack.

PropTrack’s Market Insight for September showed the national vacancy rate had its largest drop in over a year in August, dropping by 0.14% percentage points to just 1.1%, with the share of rental properties vacant and available now down 54% from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Vacancy rates deteriorated in every capital city bar Darwin, with Canberra and Sydney seeing the sharpest drops over the month,” said Anne Flaherty (pictured above), PropTrack economist and report author.

“There are no signs rental conditions are easing, with the vacancy rate now sitting below 1% in three of Australia’s capital cities. Across Australia, the share of available rental properties has fallen by more than half since the start of the pandemic.”

In Sydney, the city’s vacancy rate deteriorated a further 0.19ppt in August to 1.26%. Melbourne’s rental vacancy rate dipped 0.1ppt over the month to 1.19%. And in Brisbane, just 0.84% of rental properties were sitting vacant, reflecting a decline of 0.05ppt over the month.

The capital cities with the tightest rental markets in Australia continued to be Adelaide and Perth, where vacancy rates were both below 0.7%. In contrast, the city with the highest rental vacancy rate was Canberra, at 1.72%, despite recording the largest monthly fall of 0.26pt.

Darwin was the only city to enjoy an increase in its rental vacancy, lifting 0.17ppt over August to 1.7%.

In regional areas, the supply of vacant rental properties also deteriorated, with the vacancy rate declining to just 1.1%. Regional SA and Queensland had the tightest rental markets, with vacancy sitting below 1%.

“Rents are predicted to continue rising off the back of these incredibly low vacancy rates, which are driving up competition for properties,” Flaherty said.

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