There is ongoing improvement in vacancy rates in major markets around Australia. SQM Research’s monthly report on vacancy rates for the eight state and territory capital cities shows that, for the third month in a row, there’s been a notable improvement in vacancies.

In April the national average vacancy rate was 2.6%. In May, it improved to 2.5%, in June it fell further top 2.2% – and now, the new figure for July, is a further improvement to 2.1%.

In June, vacancies fell in all eight capital cities. With the new figures for July, vacancies fell again in seven of the eight capital cities.

In five of the eight capital cities, vacancies are now below 1.5%. That means that Hobart, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide and Darwin all have very tight rental markets. In addition, Brisbane’s vacancy rate is 2.2%, which is also low – while Melbourne has risen slightly to be a little above 3%. Sydney has improved, but remains higher than normal at 3.6%.

Other research indicates that most of our major regional centres also have tight rental markets. The outcome is that there is – overall – a shortage of rental properties across Australia – despite all the impacts of the pandemic.

As a result of the generally low vacancies, house rents rose during July in Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart and Darwin. And for apartments, rents rose during July in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart and Darwin.