Landlord's market as vacancies drop again

Posted on 16/10/2012  

Residential vacancies nationwide have fallen for the fourth consecutive month.

Figures from SQM Research reveal the level of residential vacancies fell slightly, again, in September. It puts the national vacancy rate at 1.8%.

Year-on-year, vacancies have remained stable, with the national vacancy rate remaining unchanged when compared to September 2011.

Managing director of SQM Research Louis Christopher said none of the eight capital cities recorded monthly increases in vacancies in September – they all either stagnated or recorded modest declines. Hobart had the largest monthly decrease, falling by 0.4 percentage points to 2.3% (632 vacancies).

Both Darwin (0.5%) and Perth (0.6%) continue to record “alarmingly low” vacancy rates, 0.5% and 0.6% respectively. This correlates with rental data from Australian Property Monitors, who reports double-digit rises in residential rents in both Darwin and Perth in the past 12 months. (Our new Top 10 WA Hotspots report has just been published)

Melbourne maintains its position on the other end of the spectrum, with a vacancy rate of 2.8% - the capital city closest to what SQM Research considers to be “equilibrium” in rental markets (3%).

“Residential rental vacancy rates remain in favour of landlords as has been the case for a number of years now,” Christopher says. “Going forward I see no material change to this current trend until there is an increase in housing completion levels.”

SQM’s calculations of vacancies are based on online rental listings that have been advertised for three weeks or more compared to the total number of established rental properties.

“SQM considers this to be a superior methodology compared to using a potentially incomplete sample of agency surveys or merely relying on raw online listings advertised,” Christopher says.


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