Rental vacancies soar in Perth

Adam Smith 24 August 2016

for rent keyRental vacancies in Perth have hit a record high, with asking rents falling.

New figures from SQM Research show rental vacancies in the city rose 0.2% in July to a record high of 5.2%. On a year-on-year basis, Perth saw its vacancy rate climb 1.4%.

The rise in vacancies comes as asking rents continue to fall. Asking rents for Perth houses have fallen 8.4% over the past 12 months, while asking rents for units have fallen 10.8%.

By contrast, the vacancy rate declined in Canberra, Darwin, Hobart and Melbourne. Canberra vacancies fell 0.8% year-on-year. Asking rents were also up in the city. Asking rents for houses in Canberra rose 11.0%, while unit asking rents were up 9.8%.

Hobart remains the country’s most affordable rental market. While asking rents for houses were up 4.9% over the last 12 months, the median rent four houses stands at just $340. Median asking rents for Hobart units was $280 a week.

Capital city vacancy rates

CityVacancy rate
Sydney1.9%
Melbourne2.1%
Brisbane2.9%
Adelaide2.1%
Perth5.2%
Hobart0.8%
Darwin3.1%
Canberra1.3%
National2.5%

SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said vacancy rates were expected to remain steady across Australia’s capitals, with the exception of Perth.

“Looking forward, I believe the national vacancy rate will continue to creep upwards. Melbourne may start to record higher vacancies next year under the weight of completed apartment developments, but for now Melbourne remains a landlord's market. Sydney is unlikely to record such a surge in vacancies as we believe the city's population expansion is going to absorb much of the new stock,” Christopher said.

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