The latest residential property research has shown average asking rent for both houses and units fell across the nation in July, with Sydney and Melbourne experiencing the most significant reductions.
SQM Research’s analysis revealed the average rent being charged decreased by 0.6 per cent and 0.9 per cent for houses and units respectively nationwide for the month ending 4 August.
Australia’s two largest capital cities were the main contributors to these statistics, with Melbourne experiencing a 1.4 per cent dip in average asking rents for both houses and units over the period and Sydney suffering a 1 per cent decline in average asking rents for houses and a 1.2 per cent fall in unit average asking rents in July.
This trend was bucked in Perth, which witnessed an increase in average asking rents for houses of 3.2 per cent, and Hobart, where average asking rents for units rose by 5.9 per cent.
The data indicated the average rent charged for a house in July stood at $534 a week and $419 a week for a unit.
Residential rental vacancy rates presented a slightly more positive outlook, falling from 2.2 per cent to 2.1 per cent last month, according to the research.
However, Melbourne recorded an increase in vacancies in July from 3 per cent to 3.1 per cent.
While experiencing a 0.2 per cent drop in vacancy rates for the period, Sydney still had the highest proportion of unoccupied residential properties at 3.6 per cent.
“Rental vacancy rates for most capital cities recorded a decline over the course of July. We are now observing a clear trend of reduced rental vacancies in outer-suburban locations and regional locations around Australia,” SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said.
“However, when looking into the numbers it is clear there are still very elevated levels of rental vacancies in the inner-city locations. We believe there has been a move towards outer-regional living and away from high-density areas.
“This very likely has been as a result of fears surrounding coronavirus and the ability for many employees (particularly in the corporate sector) to work remotely.”