No rent hikes any time soon as vacancies stay above 2%: SQM Research

No rent hikes any time soon as vacancies stay above 2%: SQM Research
No rent hikes any time soon as vacancies stay above 2%: SQM Research

The number of residential vacancies nationally decreased very marginally in May, according to SQM Research, with vacancies sitting at 2.2% nationally, or 65,075 vacancies.

Canberra, Melbourne and Darwin are the only capital cities recording a decrease in vacancies.

Year on year, vacancies remain up – by 0.2% - with the trend of 2% plus vacancies ongoing, suggesting renters are getting the upper hand, suggested SQM Research’s managing director Louis Christopher.

No rent hikes any time soon as vacancies stay above 2%: SQM Research

Source: SQM Research.

Rents have remained flat across the cities, with the Asking Rents Index recording a flat $528 per week for houses and $416 for units.

“Rental growth so far this year has been patchy as a result of the moderate increase in supply of available rental properties and I believe vacancy rates will continue to gradually rise over the course of 2014, with the longer term view that the large increases in building approvals will translate to higher vacancy rates in 2015 and 2016. Overall it is going to be increasingly difficult for landlords to lift the rent for the foreseeable future,” said Christopher.

This leaves the vacancy rates as below.


PERTH - 2.3%



HOBART - 1.8%

SYDNEY - 1.7%


DARWIN - 1.4%

Source: SQM Research

For more insights into Sydney’s vacancy situation, read over page.


In Sydney, vacancy rates were recorded by the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales as rising for the second month in a row. REINSW president Malcolm Gunning notes that this is due to the completion of large scale apartment projects.

They record Sydney’s vacancy rate at 1.9%, with a 0.2% rise for May 2014 in their REINSW Vacancy Rate Survey.

“We are getting back to a more neutral position with high volumes of apartments being completed,” said Gunning.

“Fifty per cent of new apartments are purchased by investors and we are now seeing them seeking tenants. The development stock gives tenants a bit more of a fair go and choice.”


Wollongong vacancy rates: Increased by 0.9%, to 2.4%
Newcastle vacancy rates: Increased by 0.9%, to 3.9%
Illawarra vacancy rates: Increased by 0.3%, to 1.9%
Hunter region vacancy rates: Increased by 0.4%, to 3.4%

The area with the highest availability, remains the Central West – falling 0.2% to 4.7%, with New England increased 0.1% to 3.5%.


Orana: Fell 0.8% to 1.5%
Albury: Steady, 1.6%


Inner Sydney vacancy rates: Increased 0.3%, to 1.9%
Middle Sydney vacancy rates: Increased 0.5% to 2.5%
Outer Sydney vacancy rates: Decreased 0.1%, to 1.6%

With the increase in Sydney’s inner city vacancy rates, Century 21 suggests that the inner west is a renters market, noting that in February a total of 67 listings for rental were recorded by Australian Property Monitors. In May this figure was recorded as double the number with 134 rentals advertised.

“Basically, it is a renters’ market,” said Century 21 Synergy Dulwich Hill director Angelo Lofitis.

 “If you have an investment property in the suburb of Dulwich Hill and have been trying to find a new tenant recently, you’ll probably be finding that it takes a little longer than usual to lease right now,” he said.

“On the other hand, if you are selling, you can still expect the high prices and quick sale that Dulwich Hill is renowned for, as this is yet to change and remains consistently on the rise.”

Loftis, however, says that the reason behind the vacancies is the increase of upgraders in the area who are looking to rent a larger property, rather than owning a smaller home.

“Up-graders’, as a sub-section of buyers in the inner west, have started leaving their rental properties and going on to buy in the area, hence property values are still strong and growing,” he said.

What are your current experiences with trying to get tenants in Sydney?

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

Sqm Research


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