'Alarming' vacancy increases


Investors in two cities are finding it increasingly hard to secure tenants, but life is easier for their counterparts in the rest of Australia.

New figures from SQM Research show that national vacancies appear to be following seasonal trends expected at this time of year, despite making grim reading for investors in Darwin and Perth.

In Darwin, vacancies climbed from 3.4 per cent in December 2014 to 4.2 per cent in December 2015.

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Perth’s vacancy rate jumped from 2.8 per cent to 4.1 per cent over the same period.

SQM managing director Louis Christopher said the vacancy rate has reached “alarming” levels in Perth and Darwin – however, most other capitals have remained stable or recorded falls.

“This is as a result of a combination of factors including the strong upswing in residential dwelling construction, which commenced back in 2013 and will continue on into 2016; as well as the commodities downturn, which has hurt the economies of Perth and Darwin," Mr Christopher said. 

In Brisbane, vacancies rose from 2.7 per cent to 2.9 per cent, while Melbourne’s vacancy rate fell from 3.2 per cent to 2.8 per cent.

In Canberra, the vacancy rate remained unchanged at 2.3 per cent, while Adelaide’s vacancies rose from 1.7 per cent to 2.1 per cent.

Sydney remained stable at 2.1 per cent, while Hobart’s vacancy rate fell from 1.4 per cent to 1.1 per cent.