Vacancy rates up across Australia
While most cities saw rises, Hobart has maintained its tight rental market.
New figures from SQM Research show that the national vacancy rate rose in December from 2.2% to 2.5%. Vacancies rose across every capital with the exception of Hobart, which maintained a record-low 0.3% vacancy rate.
"The rise in vacancies continued into December due to seasonality, and those in Hobart and Canberra continue to face ongoing tight rental conditions and higher rents. However, the rise in Sydney was larger than expected, if these current vacancy rate levels hold in January and February, Sydney will be a tenant’s market in 2018," SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said.
Sydney's vacancy rate surged from 2.1% in November to 2.6% in December. Brisbane had the second-highest rise in vacancies, up from 3.4% in November to 3.8% in December.
In spite of a rise in vacancies, asking rents were up for the month to 12 January. Asking rents for houses rose 0.9% to $555 across capital cities. Unit asking rents saw a smaller 0.7% rise to $440 a week.
While Christopher forecast that Sydney could become a tenant's market, the city continued to record the highest asking rent in the country for a three-bedroom house at $730.60. Sydney units also recorded the nation's highest asking rent, at $520.80.