Capital city vacancy rates see summer spike

By Tim Neary 18 December 2018 | 1 minute read

New research has found that the national vacancy rate, as expected, saw an increase of up to to 2.3 per cent over the month of November, with all capital cities recording increasing vacancies. 

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The research found that the number of vacancies Australia-wide is at 74,590 properties.

Sydney’s vacancy rate jumped to 3.2 per cent in November from 2.8 per cent in October, with 22,215 properties available for rent.

Melbourne’s vacancy rate rose to 1.9 per cent from 1.6 per cent with 10,808 rental properties available, while in Brisbane the vacancy rate increased to 3.0 per cent from 2.7 per cent with 9,783 properties available for rent.

Canberra’s rental market felt some relief with the vacancy rate rising to 0.9 of a percentage point, up from 0.6 of a percentage point. Hobart’s rate rose slightly to 0.4 of a percentage point from 0.3 of a percentage point, though the rental market remains very tight.

PerthPerth, TAS Perth, WA’s vacancy rate edged higher to 3.4 per cent from 3.3 per cent in October, but is well down from 4.5 per cent a year ago.  Darwin’s vacancy rate rose to 4.0 per cent from 3.8 per cent in October, well up from 2.8 per cent a year ago. Adelaide’s rose slightly to 1.2 per cent from 1.1 per cent.

Managing director Louis Christopher said the findings are true to form.

“The rise in vacancy rates across cities is expected in November as the year winds up and demand for rental accommodation drops,” he said.

“But we are also seeing an emerging oversupply of rental accommodation in Sydney, with the vacancy rate well up from 2.1 per cent a year ago. It is a renter’s market there, with bargaining power moving to tenants as some landlords struggle to fill their rental properties.

“In Hobart, a shortage of rental accommodation remains with just 107 properties available to rent in November and the Canberra market also remains very tight.”


The research also found that despite the rise in vacancies, capital city asking rents for houses rose 0.4 of a percentage point over the month to 12 December – to $555 a week. Unit asking rents, however, fell 0.5 of a percentage point to $436 a week.

Over the year, asking rents for houses rose just 0.9 of a percentage point while unit asking rents slipped 0.2 of a percentage point.

Despite the upward pressure on the vacancy rate, the asking rent for a three-bedroom house in Sydney remains the highest nationwide at $708 a week and $507 a week for two-bedroom units.

Asking unit rents were down 1.1 per cent in Sydney over the month while asking house rents fell 0.5 of a percentage point.

Asking rents in Melbourne for houses rose 1.5 per cent over the month to $535 a week while asking rents for units rose 0.2 of a percentage point to $407.



Capital refers to the financial resources that are available to be used for income generation.


Rent refers to the payment made by a tenant periodically to a landlord for the use and occupancy of a property.


Rent refers to the payment made by a tenant periodically to a landlord for the use and occupancy of a property.


A vacancy is a term that describes an unoccupied or empty space.

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Capital city vacancy rates see summer spike
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