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New data released by SQM Research today has revealed the national residential rental vacancy rate declined in February 2020 to 2.0% from 2.1% recorded in January, with the total number of vacancies Australia-wide now at 68,079 vacant residential properties.

Most states recorded minor declines in vacancy rates with the exception of Hobart which recorded a 0.3% increase. Adelaide remained stable at 1.0% vacancy rate.

Sydney has surpassed Darwin recording the highest vacancy rate in the country at 2.9%, having dropped 0.3% basis points. Darwin sits at 2.7% with a 0.5% drop on last month. Canberra’s vacancy rate has declined to 1.0% and Melbourne is now 1.9%.

The year on year comparison revealed a similar decline when the national rental vacancy rate in February 2019 was 2.2% compared to 2.0% recorded for February 2020. Only Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart recorded higher vacancy rates compared to this time last year.

Table for Australia Vacancy Rate

Table for Vacancy for Jan 2020

Table for Vacancy Feb 2020

February marks the start to the new year in the property industry and gives us a clearer picture of the rental market. The decline in vacancy rates is a reflection of a seasonal increase in rental demand plus ongoing decline in dwelling completions and the ongoing increase in population. We are likely to record further declines in rental vacancy rates as 2020 progresses unless the country enters into a prolonged economic depression.

Asking Rents

Over the month, Capital City asking rents decreased 1.2% for houses and 0.2% for units for the week ending 12 March 2020 to record asking rents of $562 per week for houses and $441 per week for units. In comparison over the 12 months, asking rents increased 0.4% for houses and remained steady for units.

Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra all recorded decreases in asking rents for both houses and units over the month. Perth was the only city to record rent increases for both houses and units, 0.1% for houses and 2.5% for units.

Over the month, Darwin and Hobart managed small increases for house rents of 1.2% and 0.5% respectively but unit rents has fallen by 2.4% for Darwin and 1.4% for Hobart.

Brisbane recorded decreases in house asking rents of 0.4% but unit asking rents remained stable.

National Vacancy Rates table

Source: https://sqmresearch.com.au/