Government action needed as Sydney rental crisis worsens: REINSW

Sydney’s rental crisis will not be resolved until the state and federal government takes “immediate and sustained action” to encourage property investors back into the market, according to the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales. 

The rallying cry from follows the release of data showing Sydney’s vacancy rate has remained unchanged at just 1.4% in October, while tightening by 0.2% to just 1.3% in the inner-city suburbs. 

Vacancies eased in Sydney’s middle suburbs (10 to 25 kilometres from CBD), up a marginal 0.2% to 1.6%, and in the outer suburbs (more than 25 kilometres from CBD) they are up just 0.1% to 1.4%. 

Alongside a shortage of available rental properties, weekly rents are rising. 

According to the most recent Real Estate Institute Market Facts report for the June quarter, the median weekly rent on a three-bedroom house in Sydney now stands at $400, up 5.3% over the 12 months to June 2011, while two-bedroom apartments and other dwellings are up 7.1% over the same period to $450 a week. 

REINSW president Wayne Stewart says that despite the increases in vacancy rates in some areas, “the overall rental vacancy outlook in NSW remains depressed”. 

“The rental crisis, which has dramatically reduced housing availability across NSW, requires immediate and sustained action by both the state and federal governments to stimulate investment in the residential property market. 

“There will be no relief for tenants until we see interventionist action to encourage private investment as well as slashing planning red tape which is slowing new residential development.

“To create a stable and healthy rental vacancy rate which meets both the needs of tenants as well as landlords, we need to see significant numbers of new rental properties being brought online.

“Until then, we will see growing numbers of people competing against each other for an ever smaller number of available properties,” he says.

Outside of Sydney, rental picture is slightly better in other metropolitan centres, with vacancy rates up 0.6% to 1.9% in Newcastle and up 0.2% to 1.8% in Wollongong.

Vacancy rates fell 0.2% on the Central Coast to 1.7%.

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Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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