Rental vacancies see another rise

Adam Smith 19 October 2016

are rents going down or upVacancy rates have risen once again as the rental market softens.

New figures from SQM Research show the national vacancy rate rose to 2.4% in September, up from 2.3% in August. While August had seen a slight tightening of the rental market, it followed rises in the national vacancy rate in June and July.

Perth again recorded the highest vacancy rate, at 5.0%. Hobart’s rental market remained the nation’s tightest, at just 0.6%. Vacancies in Sydney edged up slightly, from 1.7% in August to 1.8% in September. Melbourne’s vacancy rate declined, falling to 2.0% from 2.2% in August.

In spite of the rise in vacancies, asking rents were up slightly across many capitals. Sydney asking rents rose 2.2% for houses and 0.7T for units, while Hobart asking rents were up 7.0% for houses and 1.3% for units.

Reflecting its high vacancy rate, Perth saw asking rents decline. Perth houses saw asking rents decline 1.0% for the month, while unit asking rents were down 1.2%. On a year-on-year basis, asking rents in Perth are down 9.5% for houses and 11.1% for units.

SQM Research said vacancies are set to continue to rise, though the company said the rises were likely to remain localised.

“Looking forward, vacancies are likely to rise in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney over 2017 as more new high-rise apartment developments come onto the market. However, we maintain that the oversupply issue appears to be constrained to concentrated areas such as the inner-city regions. We are not as confident we will see a contagion effect where the whole capital city market is affected,” the research company said.

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