Rental vacancies rising across Australia

Adam Smith 20 July 2016

house for rent signRenters are seeing their bargaining power grow as vacancy rates edge up around the country.

New figures from SQM Research show the number of national residential vacancies increased in June, with the national vacancy rate hitting 2.5%. The result was 1% up on the same time last year.

Renting getting cheaper.

Perth saw the largest monthly rise, with vacancies climbing 0.3% for the month to sit at 1.4% higher than the same time last year. Perth also had the highest vacancy rate in the country at 5%.

Vacancies also rose in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, while remaining flat in Adelaide. Canberra, Hobart and Darwin all saw a decline in vacancies, with Canberra vacancies falling 1% from June 2015.

Perth also saw significant declines for asking rents. Asking rents were up year-on-year for all capitals except Perth and Darwin, with vacancies increasing 9..1% for Perth houses and 10% for Perth units.

The rental market slump continues for Perth. Rents are now down in that city by 23% over the last three years. Outside the current situation for Darwin, I don’t believe rents have fallen this much for any Australian capital city since the Second World War,” SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said.

Canberra, meanwhile, saw the largest increase in asking rents. Asking rents were up 8.6% for units and 10.7% for houses since June last year.

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