Melbourne's vacancy rate climbs to 3% and could continue to grow: SQM Research

Melbourne’s residential vacancy rate has hit 3%, the highest of all the capital cities, following an increase of 0.2% during the month of September, according to figures compiled by SQM Research. 

There are now 10,926 properties available to rent in Melbourne, compared with 10,197 in August and just 7,986 a year ago, equating to an annual increase of 0.8%. 

Hobart was the other capital city to register a 0.2% monthly increase, while Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra recorded monthly increases of 0.1% in line with the national increase in vacancy rates, which now stands at 48,179 properties available to rent, a vacancy rate of 1.9%. 

According to SQM Research, the national vacancy rate has “hovered around 1.8% to 1.9% for the last few months, which may be an indirect result of the continuous lack of buyer interest in the housing sales market of late”. 

Managing director of SQM research Louis Christopher says Melbourne is the one exception to the expectation that national vacancy will remain in a fixed range for the foreseeable future. 

“It is very possible we will see Melbourne vacancies continue to rise from here as there is, even at this point in time, new stock still just being completed now,” Christopher says. 

The Sydney vacancy rate remained unchanged at 1.4% in September, equating to 7,769 properties listed for rent an increase of just 0.2% over the year. 

Of the major capital cities, Perth has the fewest available properties to rent at just 1,559 after the city’ vacancy rate fell by 0.1% over September to stand at just 0.9%. 

SQM’s calculations of vacancies are based on online rental listings that have been advertised for three weeks or more compared to the total number of established rental properties.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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