National vacancy rate dips in August but Sydney at 13 year highs: SQM

National vacancy rate dips in August but Sydney at 13 year highs: SQM
National vacancy rate dips in August but Sydney at 13 year highs: SQM

The national residential vacancy rate dipped to 2.1% in August 2018, according to SQM research, however Sydney’s vacancy rate remained at its highest level in 13 years.

An oversupply of rental property is keeping asking rents down in the harbour capital.

The number of vacancies across the country sat at 70,447 properties.

Sydney’s vacancy rate was unchanged at 2.8% from July with 19,114 properties available for rent, and remains at the highest level since SQM started recording the data in 2005, and well up from 1.9% a year ago.

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National vacancy rate dips in August but Sydney at 13 year highs: SQM

Hobart recorded the lowest vacancy rate of 0.5 percent, although higher than this time last year. Melbourne's vacancy rate has remained steadfast at 1.6 percent for over 12 months.

Brisbane has been the biggest mover in the last 12 months. In August last year its rate stood at 3.4 percent. Now it's 2.8 percent, having dropped 0.1 percent since July 2018.

Perth has followed a similar pattern, dropping from 4.9 percent this time last year to its current 3.7 percent. Darwin's vacancy rate was the only capital city rise, from 3.4 percent to 3.5 percent.

Capital city asking rents for houses rose over the month to 12 September 2018 by 0.7% to $552 a week. Unit asking rents were steady at $440 a week. Over the year, asking rents for houses and units rose just 0.5%.

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National vacancy rate dips in August but Sydney at 13 year highs: SQM

Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM Research, said asking rents had eased in Sydney given the greater supply of rental accommodation, which is now verging on oversupply.

“The trend for the vacancy rate is definitely up and, as a result, Sydney is increasingly becoming a tenant’s market," Christopher said.

"Over the year to 12 September, asking rents for houses in Sydney dropped by 3.4% and we expect to see further falls.

"In contrast, the tight rental markets in Hobart and Canberra are continuing to push asking rents higher,” he said.

 

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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