National residency vacancy rates increased in most cities across Australia in December, with material increases recorded in Sydney, according to SQM Research.
Data released by the research house revealed Perth’s vacancy rate remained the highest of any capital city, rising from 4.5 per cent in November to 4.6 per cent in December.
Sydney’s vacancies increased from 2.1 per cent in November to 2.6 per cent in December.
The national residential vacancy rate was 2.5 per cent in December 2017, compared to 2.9 per cent in December 2016.
Melbourne vacancies increased from 1.8 per cent in November to 2.1 per cent in December, but it recorded lower vacancy rates than in December 2016. Brisbane vacancy rates rose from 3.4 per cent to 3.8 per cent over the month.
SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said: “The rise in vacancies continued in 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.”
However, Hobart’s vacancy rates continued to remain at a record low of 0.3 per cent since October 2017, while Canberra and Adelaide’s vacancy rates also remained tight at 1.3 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.
In terms of asking rents, Sydney continued to record the highest level in the nation for a three-bedroom house at $730.60 a week, while weekly rents for units stood at $520.80. The asking price for renting a unit in Canberra increased by 1.9 per cent to $442.20 a week.
Capital city asking rents over the month to 12 January rose 0.9 per cent to $555 a week for houses, while unit asking rents rose slightly by 0.7 per cent to $440 a week.
Adelaide was the only city to record a drop, with house asking rents declining by 0.1 per cent over the month. However, unit asking rents increased by 1.1 per cent over the month.