New data released by SQM Research today has revealed the national residential rental vacancy rate increased marginally in December 2019 to 2.5% from 2.2% recorded in November, with the total number of vacancies Australia-wide now at 84,591 vacant residential properties.  The December 2018 vacancy rate was also 2.5%.

All states recorded marginal increases in vacancy rates with Sydney recording the highest at 3.6% followed by Darwin at 3.5% and Brisbane at 2.9%.  Hobart is the lowest of all capital cities at just 0.6%

Perth’s rental market is showing minor improvements with the vacancy rate remaining steady at 2.5% and asking rents increasing for both houses and units by 0.6% and 0.8% respectively.

While vacancy rates did rise in December, this was predominantly due to the seasonal movement of students and some industry-specific workers. It is actually quite likely we have reached the peak in national rental vacancy rates with ongoing strong population growth absorbing current surplus rental stock over 2020.

National Vacancy Rates table

Asking Rents

Over the month, Capital city asking rents increased 0.9% for houses and 0.7% for units for the week ending 12 January 2020 to record asking rents of $555 per week for houses and $437 per week for units.  In comparison over the 12 months, asking rents declined 0.7% for houses and 0.5% for units.

Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide all recorded increases in asking rents for both houses and units over the month. Brisbane and Hobart recorded increases in house asking rents but unit asking rents decreased by 0.2% and 0.5% respectively.

It was the reverse in Canberra where the city’s house asking rents decreased by 2.4% but its unit asking rents increased by 0.5%.  Darwin’s house asking rents recorded the highest decrease of 3.0% with unit rents remaining steady.