Rental vacancy rate unchanged in March

Nationwide, rents increase by 1%

Rental vacancy rate unchanged in March

National rental vacancy rates in Australia remained at 1% in March, consistent with figures from February and showing a slight decrease from a year ago.

According to SQM Research, there are currently 31,356 residential properties available for rent across the country.

In major cities, Perth and Adelaide are experiencing the tightest rental markets, each with a vacancy rate of just 0.5%, while Sydney and Melbourne both reported rates of 1.1%.

The central business districts (CBDs) of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Canberra recorded higher vacancy rates in March, with figures ranging from 1% in Adelaide to 3.9% in Sydney. Perth’s CBD recorded the lowest rate among the central districts at 0.8%.

SQM Research reported that capital city asking rents for units have continued to rise over the past 30 days, increasing by 1.3%, and showing an annual increase of 9.2%. However, Canberra and Hobart saw declines in rental rates, with decreases of 0.3% and 1.1%, respectively. Perth saw the most significant rise at 2.8%.

House rents in capital cities slightly declined by 0.1%, resulting in a slower overall growth rate of 0.5% for city rentals over the past month. Nationwide, rents increased by 1% during the same period, with the national median weekly asking rent now standing at £621.84.

Sydney had the highest weekly rent for a house at £1,053.56, while Hobart offered the most affordable units among the capital cities at £461.36 per week.

“National rental vacancy rates for the month of March were actually up a little on the absolute numbers; but the overall vacancy rate just managed to stay steady,” said Louis Christopher (pictured), managing director at SQM Research.

“The immediate outlook is vacancy rates are set to rise somewhat into the cooler months. This is the normal seasonality we get at this time of year so one should be a little careful about reading into these rises. Nevertheless, it might provide some minor relief to tenants who still have excessive difficulties in finding longer term rental accommodation around the country.

“The full year outlook remains the same in that we expect overall tight vacancy rates to be with us for 2024, driven by a fall in dwelling completions relative to growing demand.”

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