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Vacancy rates climbing

By Staff Reporter
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The level of residential property rental vacancies has increased again during May, according to new figures.

Statistics by SQM Research have shown that vacancies have risen by 0.1 per cent to 2.1 per cent, bringing the total to 59,670 nationwide.

A majority of capital cities either experienced modest rises or remained the same during May. Darwin was the only city to experience a decline, falling from 1.1 per cent to 1.0 during the period.

The figures also showed that Canberra had recorded the highest yearly increase in vacancies, having climbed to 1.5 per cent from 0.7 per cent in May 2012.

According to SQM Research, the latest results reflected a rental market that was continuing to loosen, despite being gradual.

It said it did not predict any massive increases in vacancy rates until there was a mass exodus of renters, which would be prompted by the absorption of stock from the sales side of the property market.

“The rental market is starting to provide some choices for tenants. Vacancies have increased for four straight months now,” said SQM managing director Louis Christopher.

“This is also showing up on our weekly rentals index, where cities such as Canberra and Perth have recorded falling rents in recent months.”

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