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Rental market getting more competitive

Adam Smith 22 March 2017

generation rentAfter several months of rising vacancy rates, the rental market is finally beginning to tighten.

New figures from SQM Research show that while the national vacancy rate held steady at 2.4% in February, vacancy rates in several capital cities have seen a decline.

Vacancies in Sydney have fallen to 1.9%, down from 2% in January and 2.5% in December. Vacancies in Canberra are also down, falling to just 0.9% from 1.1% in January. Melbourne, meanwhile, has recorded its lowest vacancy rate since June 2007, at just 1.7%.

Hobart remains the country’s tightest rental market, with a vacancy rate of just 0.7%. Perth has recorded the highest vacancy rate at 4.8%, followed by Darwin at 3.8%. Vacancies in Brisbane are steady at 3.3% and rates have also remained unchanged in Adelaide at 2.2%.

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With Melbourne vacancies hitting near a 10-year high, asking rents are also up strongly, rising 1.6% over the month to March 20. The rise represents an annual change of 7.2%. Canberra saw the largest annual rise in asking rents, at 7.6%.

Darwin, meanwhile, continues to record a decline in asking rents. Asking rents for houses were down 1.5% for the month to March 20, while unit asking rents were down 1.3%. Perth saw the largest yearly decline in asking rents, with asking rents for houses down 7.1% and unit asking rents down 10.1%.

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Image: Shutterstock

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