Rental market tightens and rents rise

Adam Smith 21 September 2016

tiny houseVacancy rates have dropped across capital cities as asking rents jump.

New figures from SQM Research show the national capital city vacancy rate hit 2.3%, with vacancies dropping across all capital cities. The vacancy rates in Sydney and Melbourne have fallen below 2%, SQM said. Sydney recorded a vacancy rate of 1.7%, while Melbourne’s now sits at 1.9%.

Hobart recorded the tightest rental market with a vacancy rate of just 0.5%. Perth, meanwhile, had the highest vacancy rate at 5.0%.

While the national vacancy rate was steady over the year, vacancies were down in Canberra, Hobart, Darwin and Melbourne.

With vacancies shrinking, asking rents jumped across most of the country. Canberra saw asking rents rise 12.1% for houses and 9.6% for units on a year-on-year basis. Asking rent for a three-bedroom house in Sydney rose 4.8% for the year to September 20, while rents in Melbourne rose 3.4%.

Perth, by contrast, saw a 9.4% decline in asking rents for houses and an 11.4% fall for units over the year. Darwin also saw asking rents fall, decreasing 1.5% for houses and 5.5% for units.

While Hobart has the tightest vacancy rate in the nation, it remains the country’s most affordable rental market, with the asking rent for houses averaging $343 and the asking rent for units averaging $279.

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