The national residential vacancy rate decreased slightly in September, according to the latest data from SQM Research.
The September 2013 vacancy rate was 2.1 per cent, down from 2.2 per cent in the month of August.
By comparison, the September 2012 rate was only 1.8 per cent.
However, SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher encourages investors to look beyond the national data.
“Currently there is no one national trend in the rental market; the national market is very much segmented, with each city recording completely different trends and results,” Mr Christopher said.
Melbourne has consistently had the highest vacancy rate in the country, at 2.7 per cent.
On the flip side, Darwin’s rental market is extremely tight, with only 0.9 per cent of properties vacant.
The Perth rate was 1.5 per cent in September 2013, a marked increase from the September 2012 rate of 0.6 per cent.
The most recent Sydney rate is 1.6 per cent, a one percentage point drop from September last year.
Brisbane saw vacancies jump in the past year from 1.5 per cent to 2.1 per cent, while Canberra jumped from 1.1 per cent to 2.2 per cent in the same period.
Hobart fell from 2.3 per cent to 1.8 per cent in the previous 12 months.
Finally, Adelaide has remained steady over the past year at a rate of 1.5 per cent.
Mr Christopher said these trends suggested, by and large, the national rental market skewed towards the landlord’s interests.
“With a national vacancy rate of 2.1 per cent, it does suggest that the rental market remains mildly in favour of landlords, and would suggest rent increases would be running at close to the general inflation rate or just above it at this point in time,” he said.