Vacancies Fall In Most Capital Cities

Posted on 20/12/2017  
Vacancies Fall In Most Capital Cities

Residential vacancy rates have dropped in seven of the eight capital cities in the past year, according to new figures from research company SQM Research.

Sydney is the only city in which vacancies are trending upwards, based on annual movements to the end of November.

The capital city average vacancy has dropped from 2.5% to 2.2% over 12 months. Four of the eight cities have vacancy rates well below 2%, according to SQM.

Hobart, once again, has the tightest rental market with a vacancy rate of just 0.3%, down from 0.6% 12 months earlier.

Canberra recorded 1%, down from 1.1%, while Adelaide is 1.4%, down from 1.8%.

The only cities with vacancies above the 3% benchmark are Perth and Brisbane, but both appear to be trending in the right direction. Perth’s overall vacancy is down from 5.2% to 4.5%, while Brisbane has dropped from 3.6% to 3.4%.

Brisbane’s vacancy rate is influenced by very high vacancies in its inner-city apartment market, but the housing market generally has a much lower rate of dwellings without tenants.

Sydney’s overall vacancy rate has increased from 1.6% in November 2016 to 1.8% in October and to 2.1% in November 2017. While the overall rate remains acceptably low, there are individual precincts with much higher vacancies, primarily apartment markets such as Parramatta and suburbs in the Olympic Park precinct.

SQM Research’s Louis Christopher says the number of empty properties in Sydney rose from 12,435 in October to 14,362 in November.

“Rises occurred across all regions of Sydney, but some of the largest vacancy rises came from the Northern Beaches, Parramatta, the Upper North Shore and the especially the Hills District where vacancies rose sharply to 3.7%,” he says.

Similarly, Melbourne’s overall vacancy rate is just 1.8% but the inner-city apartment markets have vacancies well above 3%.

Darwin has been a significant improver, with its vacancy rate down from 3.5% to 2.6% over the past 12 months.

As is usually the case, the cities with the lowest vacancies are the ones to record meaningful growth in residential rentals.

SQM figures indicate that Hobart house rentals are up 8.5% in annual terms, while apartment rents have increased 6%. Canberra house rents are up 12% and apartment rents 5.5%.

Perth, where vacancies remain high, and Darwin, where vacancies were high recently, both recorded annual decreases in residential rents.

The rental index for Brisbane apartments, where vacancies are higher than the overall city average, has dropped in the past 12 months.


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