Rental property squeeze

Vacancy rates for rental properties remain tight across the country the latest research from SQM Research has shown.

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Canberra’s rental market remains the tightest with a vacancy rate of just 0.6 per cent while Melbourne, which has seen a steady flow of new stock come on to the market, had the highest vacancy rate of 2.4 per cent.

The only capital city to record an increase in vacancies in March was Hobart, which grew by 0.3 per cent to 328 vacancies and a vacancy rate of 1.4 per cent.

The national vacancy rate sat at 1.6 per cent in March, on par exactly with March 2010.

While Canberra was the tightest rental market of the capital cities, some of the tightest markets are in Sydney, particularly Western Sydney, according to SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher.


“Sydney’s West has recorded a very tight vacancy rate of just 0.8 per cent, while Sydney’s South West recorded just 0.7 per cent. This highlights the true nature of the housing shortage crisis in that there really is rental accommodation shortage, especially in these two regions,” he said.

Mr Christopher said rents in Sydney had increased at a compound rate of 8.5 per cent per annum over the past five years.

“Given there are even more renters in the market this year with no real additional increases in rental accommodation, we see Sydney rents rising by at least the same rate this year.”

Sydney is now recording a vacancy rate of 1.2 per cent.

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