Finance advice

Massive increase in vacancy rates

By Reporter
apartment

Vacancy rates have more than doubled in one capital city over the past 12 months, with new research indicating that landlords are being forced to reassess their rental income situation.

The national vacancy rate fell slightly in August, according to SQM Research – but that doesn't tell the full story of what’s been happening in Australia’s northernmost capital over the past year.

Darwin’s vacancy rate remained steady in August, sitting at 3.5 per cent with 993 properties listed as vacant. However, that figure represents a two per cent increase year-on-year (from 1.5 per cent) and compares to a current national vacancy rate of 2.3 per cent, based on 71,254 vacancies.

PerthPerth, TAS Perth, WA hasn't fared any better, edging out Darwin for the title of highest vacancy rate in Australia.

Its vacancy rate only dipped slightly to 3.7 per cent in August, down from 3.8 per cent the month before. But Perth was sitting on a vacancy rate of 2.6 per cent at the same time last year, meaning a 1.1 per cent increase has taken place over the past 12 months.

Landlords in both cities have also been forced to compromise on asking rents, according to SQM Research. 

"Notably, Darwin has recorded a fall in asking rents of 21.3 per cent for houses and 17.8 cent for units for the past 12 months," SQM Research director Louis Christopher said. 

"Yearly falls have also been recorded in Perth, with asking rents down 8.1 per cent for houses and 5.5 per cent for units," he added. 

Other capital cities experiencing an increase in their vacancy rates over the past year include Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra, with the former two showing signs of levelling out.

Adelaide’s vacancy rate increased by 0.3 per cent to 1.9 per cent – the same rate recorded last month.

Brisbane matched this performance, with vacancy rates shifting from 2.3 per cent to 2.6 per cent over the year. This vacancy rate is also unchanged from last month.

Vacancy rates in Canberra underwent a smaller shift, moving from 2.3 per cent to 2.4 per cent year-on-year but down from 2.5 per cent last month.

All remaining capitals experienced a drop in vacancies over the year.

Hobart recorded the most significant decrease, with rates dropping 0.5 per cent to 1.1 per cent year-on-year (down from 1.2 per cent last month).

Melbourne’s vacancy rate fell from 2.6 per cent to 2.2 per cent from August last year, down from 2.3 per cent last month.

Sydney’s vacancy rates experienced the smallest discrepancy year-on-year, shifting from 1.8 per cent to 1.7 per cent.

Speculating on the national market outlook, Mr Christopher said the slight dip in vacancy rates was a short-term phenomenon. 

"There was a slight fall in vacancies this month; however, I am still of the opinion that vacancies will gradually rise from here over the next 12 months," he explained.

"Already there has been a noticeable impact upon the rental market with rents in most cities recording slower rental growth rates or, in some cases, recording falls in rents. It is only the tourist destinations, such as the Gold Coast and Hobart, which are recording stronger rental conditions."

Read more: 

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Will Magee has had ambitions to enter into the Australian property market for quite some time, but it has been more than just finances holding him back.  Having been granted permanent residency just two weeks ago, Will is wasting no time and is now in the process of signing papers and finding his first investment property.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Will joins host Phil Tarrant to share why he is purchasing his first property in partnership with his brother, discuss the complications that can arise from such a strategy, and unpack the ongoing plan for building a joint property portfolio with his brother.

Will will also share how they approached saving for their first property, why he is taking out the mortgage in his name exclusively, and share their savings plan for the year ahead.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

From property in Australia to a ski lodge in Japan
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Should a real estate title be in one person’s name only?

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Median house prices in regional Victoria outperformed that of Melbourne in the June quarter, the latest REIV figures reveal. 

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Median house prices in the regions rose 4.0 per cent to $419,500 but in Melbourne they dipped by 0.6 of a percentage point to $840,000.

The result in Melbourne was due to a 0.8 of a percentage point fall in prices achieved at auction; this was despite a lift of 2.3 per cent in private sales.

Inner Melbourne suffered due to auction prices, where median prices fell by 4.9 per cent to $1,459,000 but it was middle Melbourne that was hardest hit, with a 5.4 per cent drop to $974,500.

Outer Melbourne had a good quarter with the median rising by 0.5 of a percentage point to $681,000.

Apartment prices in regional Victoria grew by 3.7 per cent to $304,500 while the metro media was up by 0.5 of a percentage point to $604,000.

REIV President Richard Simpson said that despite fewer sales, many sectors of the market were performing well.

“2017 was a bumper year and while the trendline has flattened, despite the fall in median house prices in the June quarter, median prices are still up this calendar year for both houses and units, in Melbourne and in the regions,” Mr Simpson said. 

In particular there was been strong growth in regional centres which is probably due to the first-home buyers’ concessions said Mr Simpsons.

“The first-home buyers’ concession has been a boon for regional areas. A new entrant to the property market buying a house at the regional median will pay no stamp duty, while a first home buyer of an apartment in Melbourne at the median price would pay stamp duty of nearly $25,000,” he said.

Mr Simpson said that more prospective buyers are looking towards regional Victoria which is also having an effect in Melbourne.

“Melbourne’s outer perimeter continues to grow. Small increases in the June quarter mean that the median prices for both houses and units have risen over 10.5 per cent from a year ago.

Mr Simpson said moving forward that vendors need more realistic expectations as the highs of 2017 are now over.

“Negative chatter about the future of the sector coupled with stronger lending controls by financial institutions has created some uncertainty and vendors need to be realistic with their price expectations,” Mr Simpson said.

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If Mark Hodge’s face looks familiar to you it could be because of his time working as a professional entertainer which saw him working with the Australian ballet, appearing on multiple seasons of Dancing with the Stars and touring in musical theatre for 17 years. What you may not know is that Mark is also heavily involved in the short-term property rental marketspace.

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Mark joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss his transition from entertainer to investor, a journey pushed forward by dance related injuries and even a hit and run which saw him needing to find alternate methods to bring in an income. Mark shares how bad long-term tenants and a gang member guided him to the short-term rental market, and how this pushed him into helping others to realise the same benefits.

Mark will also address the common concerns, discuss what his company Maisonnets specialise in and unpack how they are making the process of filling short term rentals easier for investors.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Melbourne
Sydney
Rushcutters Bay
Maroubra
Potts Point

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From pirouettes to property investment

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