Three important pieces of research were published today by SQM Research, which is one of Australia’s most useful sources of data on real estate markets across the nation.

The figures depicted the latest situation with house prices, vacancy rates and rents – and they all add to the generally positive scenario for housing markets in Australia.

And the three sets of figures also show that Sydney and Melbourne are the exceptions to the rule.

The data on vacancies shows that the national average vacancy rate in September was 2%, unchanged from August.

But looking at the detail, five of our eight capital cities have vacancy rates below 1% – that’s Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin and Hobart.

The figures show that vacancies in these cities continue to get tighter.

Brisbane is a little higher but still tight at 2%, down from 2.1% in August.

The two biggest cities are different, both have vacancy rates above 3%, with the inner-city areas considerably higher.

But six of the eight capital cities have very low vacancies.

And this is reflected in the data on residential rents.

Those six capital cities with very low vacancies all have rising rents – headed by Perth where house rents have risen 7% in the past year, while Adelaide is up 5% and Hobart 4.5%.

Sydney and Melbourne are, again, the exceptions. Rents for both houses and apartments have dropped in the past month and in annual terms.

Residential rents in Sydney have dropped 9% in the past year, according to the SQM Research figures.

I know from my day-to-day research that vacancy rates are ultra low and rents rising in regional centres throughout Australia.

Today SQM also published its weekly report on prices for houses and apartments.

The figures show that prices have grown or shown no change in the past month in all capital cities except Sydney.

In annual terms house prices have risen in seven of the eight capital cities – everywhere except Darwin.

Hobart is the outstanding performer on prices among the capital cities, with houses up 9% and apartments up 19%.

The national average situation for houses was a 0.4% rise in the past month and a 4% rise in the past year.

For apartments, there was a small decrease in the past month, but a 4.7% increase over the past 12 months.

Generally speaking, the figures published today by SQM Research shows similar results on vacancies, rents and prices to figures from other major sources, including Domain and CoreLogic.

They all depict solidity and resilience in most markets across Australia.

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