Mass exodus as Sydney vacancy rates soar

By Cameron Micallef 18 August 2020 | 1 minute read

The REINSW Vacancy Rate Survey results for July 2020 has shown that COVID-19 continues to impact the residential rental market.

Mass exodus as Sydney vacancy rates soar

Sydney’s property market is continuing to show signs of weakness, with the fallout from COVID-19 seeing vacancy rates soar, according to a research group.

Results collated by REINSW have shown that vacancies in Sydney overall increased for the fifth successive month and now sit at 5.0 per cent, up 0.5 per cent from June and 2.0 per cent since March. 

According to the research, the impact of COVID-19 is starting to spread, with the outer ring experiencing the biggest drops.

“The real surprise this month comes from Sydney’s outer ring, where vacancies increased sharply,REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said.


In a slight turnaround, the exodus from inner-city Sydney appears to have eased and now sits at 5.3 per cent, down 0.5 per cent from June. 

Even with the 0.5 per cent drop in July, the vacancy rate for Sydney’s inner suburbs is still 2.8 per cent higher than it was back in March. 

“Vacancies have been steadily trending downward since March, as inner-city tenants relinquished properties with higher weekly rents for more affordable options in the suburbs more distant from the CBD. However, July saw a rise of 1.7 per cent just one month,” the CEO stated.

Sydney’s middle ring increased for the fourth successive month and is now 5.4 per cent, up 0.2 per cent from June and 2.2 per cent from March.

Most regional areas are not faring well. Vacancies in the Northern Rivers region dropped by 1.5 per cent to 1.1 per cent, and the South Coast region saw a 1.3 per cent decrease to 1.4 per cent.

Other regional areas also recorded drops, including the Central Coast, Central West, Coffs Harbour, Mid-North Coast, New England, Orana and the Riverina.

Only Albury and the Murrumbidgee region bucked the trend, recording increases in vacancies. 

“This month’s results show that COVID-19 is having a significant impact across the whole of New South Wales and it’s unlikely that things will settle for a while yet,” Mr McKibbin concluded.



Property refers to either a tangible or intangible item that an individual or business has legal rights or ownership of, such as houses, cars, stocks or bond certificates.

About the author

Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your... Read more

Mass exodus as Sydney vacancy rates soar
Mass exodus as Sydney vacancy rates soar
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