Rental markets weaken in most capitals


The national rental market is putting in a sluggish performance, with most cities recording flat rental rates and rising vacancies over the past year.

Data from SQM Research shows the Perth market is the weakest, with vacancies up by 0.9 per cent to a high of 2.5 per cent over the year.

Asking rents are falling in response, with a 9.4 per cent drop in the house market and a 9.9 per cent drop for units over the 12 months to July.

Brisbane’s availability is up by 0.3 per cent to 2.3 per cent and rental growth has eased, with house rents up by just 1.4 per cent and units down by 0.1 per cent.

Vacancy rates also climbed in Darwin, which is currently at 1.4 per cent, and Canberra, which is sitting at 2.1 per cent.

However, while Canberra recorded a dramatic fall in rents, with houses down by 7.9 per cent and units by 6.5 per cent, Darwin saw substantial increases.

House rents in Darwin are up by 2.2 per cent and units are up by 10.5 per cent.

Sydney and Melbourne both recorded no change in availability, with a rate of 1.8 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively.

For houses, rents increased by 6.0 per cent in Sydney and 1.4 per cent in Melbourne.

Both cities recorded a 3.7 per cent rise in unit rents.

Only Adelaide and Hobart saw vacancies tighten, with rates at 1.5 per cent and 1.7 per cent.

Rents in Adelaide have flatlined, with a 1.1 per cent drop in house rents and no change in the unit sector.

In Hobart, houses rose by just 0.5 per cent while units were up 2.7 per cent.

SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said the rental sector was currently slowing, a trend likely to continue in future months.

"Given our view that vacancy rates are likely to rise from these levels we are expecting a soft rental market for quite some time and certainly, well into 2015," he said.


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