Rental vacancy rates have fallen across Australia, according to investment research house SQM Research.
Sydney and Melbourne saw their vacancy rates fall to 1.5 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively.
Perth was the capital city with the largest vacancy rate fall to 4.7 per cent, while Adelaide fell to 1.8 per cent, Brisbane fell to 3.2 per cent, Darwin fell to 3.5 per cent and Canberra fell to just 0.8 per cent.
On a national scale, vacancies fell to 2.3 per cent.
SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher attributed the nation-wide drop to a seasonal tightening as people went back to work and students returned to universities.
Despite the potential for oversupply, Mr Christopher said the falls in Sydney and Melbourne were troubling.
“Significantly, the vacancy rate continued to fall in Melbourne, despite predictions of apartment oversupply,” he said.
“Even in the spots where we would have expected to see oversupply, such as Docklands and Southbank, we are not seeing it, where there are thousands of apartments, new and old.
“In Sydney too, despite high levels of inner city apartment construction, the vacancy rate is just 1.7 [per cent] across the city and 0.3 [per cent] in the CBD. We may, however, see a bounce in April across cities as demand for rental properties drops back.”
Weekly rent rates fluctuating
Due to the lower vacancy rate in Melbourne and Sydney, asking rates saw an increase in Melbourne with a 0.7 per cent rise for houses and 1.6 per cent rise for units from the previous month and in Sydney with a 0.6 per cent rise for houses and 0.7 per cent rise for units from the previous month.
Nationally, all houses recorded a 2 per cent rise in weekly rents compared to last week, while all units saw a 2 per cent fall in the same time frame.
Rises for weekly rents compared to the previous week included Canberra houses and units at 1.5 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively, Hobart houses and units at 2.6 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively, Brisbane units by 0.6 per cent, Adelaide units at 1.2 per cent and Melbourne units at 1.7 per cent.
Darwin recorded falls in weekly rent, with houses falling 3.8 per cent and units falling 1.7 per cent. Other falls in weekly rent included Brisbane homes at 0.7 per cent, Adelaide houses at 0.5 per cent, Melbourne houses at 1 per cent and Perth units at 0.5 per cent. Perth house rents remained unchanged.