National residential rental vacancy jumps to 2.6 per cent in April: SQM Research

National residential rental vacancy jumps to 2.6 per cent in April: SQM Research
National residential rental vacancy jumps to 2.6 per cent in April: SQM Research

The national residential vacancy rate has jumped to 2.6 per cent in April, up from two per cent in March, according to figures released today by research house SQM Research.

The total number of residential vacancies Australia-wide has hit 88,668, with every state seeing an increase with the exception of Darwin.

National residential rental vacancy jumps to 2.6 per cent in April: SQM Research

It was the CBD and holiday markets which saw the biggest jumps, with Sydney's vacancy rate now nearly 14 per cent in the city.

SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said the vacancy rate rise was one of the largest one month rises record on their vacancy rate series

"The blow out in rental vacancy rates for the major CBDs suggests a mass exodus of tenants occurred over the course of March and April", Christopher said.

"This might be attributed to the significant loss in employment in our CBDs plus the drop off in international students.  

"We are well aware of a surge in short term accommodation now being advertised for long term leasing. 

National residential rental vacancy jumps to 2.6 per cent in April: SQM Research

Christopher said the question is now how long will we see such high rental vacancies.

"If it is sustained throughout the course of the year, then we can expect far deeper falls in rents which will be good news for tenants but a disaster for landlords," Christopher suggested.

"There will also be economic consequences with further sharp falls in building approvals likely; thereby risking a major depression in our residential construction sector as well as the rather obvious risks for housing prices.”

Over the month, capital city asking rents decreased 1.3 per cent for houses and remained stable for units for the week ending 12 May 2020, with asking rents of $537 per week for houses and $428 per week for units. 

Sydney, Melbourne and Perth all recorded decreases in asking rents for both houses and units over the month, while Brisbane, Canberra and Hobart recorded decreases in house asking rents but minor increases in unit asking rents

Adelaide bucked the trend and recorded rent increases for both houses and units of 0.1% and 1.4%.   

In terms of popular holiday markets, Surfers Paradise recorded a vacancy rate of 8.5 per cent, and Noosa's usually tight vacancy rate shot to 6.8 per cent.

 

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and the economics and finance behind buying and selling real estate.

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Sqm Research Vacancy Rates

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