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Vacancy rates remain tight

By Staff Reporter
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Landlords continue to hold the upper hand over tenants in most capital cities, with new data showing little change in an already tight residential vacancy rate.

Figures released this week by SQM Research reveal that the level of residential vacancies fell by 560 nationally during the month of October 2012.

The national residential vacancy rate remained unchanged in October at 1.8 per cent.

Year-on-year, vacancies have appeared to remain stable with a slight ease of 0.1 per cent recorded when comparing October 2012 to the corresponding period of the previous year (October 2011).

“Overall, our national vacancy rates series continues to record a tight market, particularly with regard to Perth and Darwin, which are not showing any signs of being hurt by current concerns about the resources cycle,” said Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM Research.

Brisbane and Darwin were the only two capital cities to record monthly increases; Brisbane rising by 0.1 per cent to 1.6 per cent and Darwin rising by 0.2 per cent to 0.7 per cent during October 2012.

“This is good news for Darwin, which has been recording alarmingly low vacancy rates for some time now,” SQM said.

“Although 0.7 per cent is still considered to be excessively tight, it is the first time in eight months that Darwin has recorded a vacancy rate above 0.6 per cent, and would potentially be providing some relief for renters in this capital city.”

Mr Christopher noted that Melbourne’s vacancy rate was growing.

“I see Melbourne has had more vacancies added to the stockpile and we think that vacancies are not likely to peak in that city until late 2013, when we estimate the top in the dwelling completions cycle passes through,” he said.

Of the capital cities, Sydney recorded a vacancy rate of 1.6 per cent (down 0.1 per cent on-month); Perth hit 0.6 per cent (no change); Melbourne remained steady at 2.8 per cent although the number of vacancies rose from 11,649 to 12,037; Canberra came in at one per cent (down 0.1 per cent); and Hobart touched two per cent (down from 2.3 per cent in September).

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