Vacancy rates remain tight, led by Darwin

Residential vacancy rates remained tight across most capitals during May, led by Darwin which had just 100 properties available for rent, new data shows.


According to data from property research house SQM Research, the national vacancy rate stayed at 1.8 per cent in May, the same level as that recorded in April. Total residential vacancies fell 440 on-month to 50,408 nationally.

Year-on-year however, vacancies have risen by 7,270, with the national vacancy rate increasing by 0.2 per cent since May 2011.

“Many of the capital cities stagnated during May, with Brisbane, Darwin and Hobart being the only cities to record a monthly change – dipping slightly (by 0.1 per cent),” SQM Research said.


“No vacancy rates increased for any of the capital cities month-on-month.”

“Darwin is now beginning to show obvious signs of an extremely tight rental market, dropping again to 0.4 per cent during May, coming to a total of only 100 listings.”

Melbourne had the highest vacancy rate at 3.1 per cent, or 11,427 properties; Sydney was at 1.7 per cent (9,140 properties); Brisbane 1.4 per cent (4,120); Adelaide 1.6 per cent (2,680); Perth 0.6 per cent (1,157); Canberra 0.9 per cent (434); and Hobart 2.6 per cent (753).

“For many months now, vacancies across most of the country have remained very low ensuring that competition is fierce between prospective tenants, particularly at the affordable end of the market,” said Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM Research.

“As we have continually stated, we see no relief on that front, other than in Melbourne where there is still many more dwellings coming onto the market this year.”

SQM said its calculations of vacancies are based on online rental listings that have been advertised for three weeks or more compared to the total number of established rental properties.

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