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Residential Property

Capital housing markets a mixed bag

The Australian national housing market was mixed in September, with Hobart experiencing an “extreme shortage” of rental accommodation while other cities had a surplus of rental properties.

SQM Research data showed Hobart’s vacancy rate dropped to just 0.4 per cent in September, while Canberra’s vacancy rate tightened to 0.6 per cent.

There were only 108 properties vacant and available to rent in Hobart, while Canberra had 391 properties available.

“Hobart rents have already been rising well above the national average for the past three years and I think that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future as the construction pipeline is not keeping up with underlying demand,” SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said.

“There is a similar situation in Canberra. While we may speak of a surplus of rental properties in our largest city, Sydney, this is a timely reminder that we have a mixed national housing market overall.”

At the other end of the spectrum, Sydney’s vacancy rate remained at its highest level in 13 years at 2.8 per cent, with over 19,000 properties available for rent.

Melbourne’s vacancy rate rose to 1.7 per cent in September from 1.6 per cent in August, with over 9600 properties available for rent.

Perth’s vacancy rate fell to 3.6 per cent in the month, well below the 4.9 per cent vacancy rate in September 2017.

The asking rent for a three-bedroom house in Sydney remained the highest nationwide at $714 a week, while the asking rent for a two-bedroom unit was $513 a week.

Asking rents in Melbourne fell, with units down 0.7 per cent over the month to 12 October to $406 a week, while asking rents for houses fell 0.5 per cent to $524.

October figures released by SQM Research showed national residential listings dropped slightly by 0.3 per cent to 335,014 from 335,654 in September, while national listings rose 3.3 per cent compared to a year ago.

The key driver for this was Melbourne, where listings defied the national trend and rose 5.9 per cent in October.

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