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Residential Property

End-of-year rise in residential property vacancy rates

The latest SQM Research data has shown vacancy rates for residential properties increased during November, led by trends experienced by the capital cities on the east coast of Australia.

The figures revealed the national residential vacancy rate jumped from 2 per cent in October to 2.3 per cent in November, with the total number of vacant properties across the country standing at 74,590.

Sydney experienced the most dramatic rise in vacancy rates, going from 2.8 per cent in October to 3.2 per cent in November, with 22,215 properties on the rental market. Melbourne had a less severe vacancy rate incline, moving from 1.6 per cent to 1.9 per cent over the month, leaving the city with 10,808 rental properties available.

Brisbane’s story was similar to that of Melbourne with vacancy rates trending up from 2.7 per cent in October to 3 per cent in November, resulting in 9783 properties to rent.

In the nation’s capital, the vacancy rate moved slightly upward from 0.6 per cent to 0.9 per cent in November.

Residential vacancy rates in other state and territory capitals rose only slightly over the 30 days, with Hobart recording a rate of 0.4 per cent, up from 0.3 per cent, Perth a rate of 3.4 per cent, up from 3.3 per cent, Darwin a rate of 4 per cent, up from 3.8 per cent, and Adelaide a rate of 1.2 per cent, up from 1.1 per cent.

SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher described the trends as standard for this time of the year.

“The rise in vacancy rates across cities is expected in November as the year winds up and demand for rental accommodation drops,” Christopher said.

“But we are also seeing an emerging oversupply of rental accommodation in Sydney, with the vacancy rate well up from 2.1 per cent a year ago.

“It is a renter’s market there, with bargaining power moving to tenants as some landlords struggle to fill their rental properties.

“In Hobart, a shortage of rental accommodation remains with just 107 properties available to rent in November, and the Canberra market also remains very tight.”

Despite the increase in national residential vacancy rates, the asking rent for houses in the capital cities actually went up 0.4 per cent during the month ending 12 December 2018, with the average weekly rent landing at $555.

Asking rents for units fell more into line with the vacancy statistics, dropping by 0.5 per cent to $436 a week.

Sydney led the way in asking rents with a nation high average of $708 weekly rental for a three-bedroom house and $507 weekly rental for a two-bedroom unit.

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