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April rise in residential property vacancies

Residential property vacancy

Vacancy rates for residential properties increased slightly in April, but have dropped significantly over the past 12 months.

The latest residential property research has shown vacancy rates in the sector across the country rose marginally during April.

SQM research revealed rental vacancies across the country were at 1.1 per cent for April, up from the 1 per cent figure recorded in March. This translates into a total of 39,616 properties vacant for April as opposed to 36,868 for the prior month.

In Australia’s three largest capital cities vacancy rates remained stable at 1.6 per cent, 1.9 per cent and 0.7 per cent for Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane respectively.

However, more granular analysis indicated vacancy rates rose in the central business districts of Sydney and Melbourne. The Victorian capital experienced the biggest jump, with vacancies rising from 2.4 per cent to 2.9 per cent in April. Over the same period the vacancy rate in Sydney climbed slightly from 3.4 per cent to 3.5 per cent.

When examining the changing market conditions over a 12-month period, Australia-wide vacancies have fallen by 0.8 per cent after April 2021 experienced a vacancy rate of 1.9 per cent, representing a total number of 66,414 properties.

The situation regarding asking rents was more positive over the 12 months ending 12 May 2022, with these sources of income increasing by 13.8 per cent over the period. The average weekly rent for a house is now $641 and stands at $465 for units.

“Rental conditions slightly improved for tenants over April and our weekly rental listings for May suggest another slight easing. Potentially more property owners are responding to the tight rental market and are looking to lease their properties once again after taking their investment property off the market during the bleakest periods of COVID-19,” SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said.

“So, while it’s way too early to state the worst is over for the national rental market, we may be close to that point. Clearly landlords remain confident as they lifted their asking rents by another 1.4 per cent over the past 30 days.”

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