Melbourne and Sydney rental property vacancies down over year: Pete Wargent

Pete WargentMay 17, 20160 min read
More interesting trends reported today by SQM Research for the month of April 2016.
Over the past year Melbourne's reported vacancy rate declined from 2.2 per cent to 2.1 per cent, while in Sydney the reported vacancy rate has fallen from from 1.8 per cent to 1.7 per cent.
At the other end of the spectrum, Perth reached a new cyclical high of 4.6 per cent suggesting that the bottom for the Western Australian capital may not yet be in, although lower interest rates may well help to support prices. 
In Perth both median house (-8.4 per cent) and unit (-9,3 per cent) asking rents have declined over the past year, although actual dwelling price declines have been modest. 
Asking rents are also down for Darwin houses (-8.4 per cent) and units (-12.5 per cent).
On the other hand median asking unit rents increased year-on-year or both Sydney (+5 per cent) and Melbourne (+4.1 per cent), while in Brisbane the increase was more modest (+1.3 per cent).

Click to enlarge


Since month to month vacancy rates can move around a bit, I've smoothed the data below on a 4mMA basis (arguably I should also be applying a seasonal factor, but I haven't so...shucks).
This chart gives an interesting perspective on recent trends, although the Christmas period can be a bit of a distortion.

Fascinating stuff.

In most capital cities vacancy rates have declined over the past year.
In Sydney demand has marginally outstripped supply. Even in apartment construction hotspots such as Green Square vacancy rates have reportedly fallen sharply from 3.5 per cent this time last year to just 1 per cent.
Now sure, you might question the measurement criteria (where a new block of units is constructed only a sample of apartments might be advertised for rent, for example), but aren't the measurement criteria measuring like-for-like figures?

PETE WARGENT is the co-founder of AllenWargent property buyers (London, Sydney) and a best-selling author and blogger.

His latest book is Four Green Houses and a Red Hotel.

Pete Wargent

Pete Wargent is the co-founder of, offering affordable homebuying assistance to all Australians, and a best-selling author and blogger.
Vacancy Rate
Residential Market
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