It is an investors market! Extremely low rental vacancies in most capital cities

Updated: Apr 8

We found a really timely article that we’d like to share with everyone from Domain regarding the rental vacancy trends in different cities. We have itemised the triggers and effect, the reasons why some cities have low rental vacancies, and the rental housing outlook of the experts below.


Below are the highlights:

  1. Tenants in most capital cities will be hard-pressed to get a good deal right now with the number of empty properties has plummeted across the country – except for the two biggest cities, new data shows.

  2. Sydney and Melbourne continue to bear the brunt of closed international borders that has left many inner-city apartments without tenants, while the number of vacant rental listings has fallen significantly in Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart over the past year.

Here you will notice the Data from Domain showed Melbourne’s vacancy rate sits at 4.7 per cent as of February 2021 — a massive spike from this time last year when the vacancy rate was 1.6 per cent.

3. The Victorian capital has the biggest proportion of empty rentals in Australia — the data revealed the number of vacant rental listings has increased by a staggering 212 per cent.


4. In Sydney, the only other city where the vacancy rate rose, the situation is on a smaller scale. The number of vacant rental listings has increased by 9.1 per cent over the past year and the vacancy rate edged up from 2.6 to 2.8 per cent.


Main triggers:

  1. Two cities’ rental market exposure to international migrants and students.

  2. The closer you get to the city, the higher the vacancy rate.


In other cities:

  • In Victoria, the top vacancy rate was in Melbourne city at 11.7 per cent,

  • In NSW the highest was in Parramatta at 4.9 per cent.

  • Inner Brisbane recorded the highest vacancy rate of 4.3 per cent followed by Sherwood-Indooroopilly at 3.7 per cent.

  • Perth’s already low vacancy rate fell further in the 12 months to February this year, from 1.8 per cent to 0.7 per cent.

  • In Darwin, where the vacancy rate dropped from 3.2 per cent to 0.8 per cent in the same period.

Main reasons:

  1. Melbourne tenants had moved rental properties for a lifestyle change, which had seen outer suburbs fare better than inner-city areas.

  2. For renters in Perth and Darwin, the market has become much tougher over the past 12 months.

  3. Darwin agents have reported they cannot keep up with the wave of rental applications that have hit the city as a result of tenants either being locked in or interstate travellers moving to the Northern Territory.

  4. Brisbane offers really incredible options. Affordability is so much better than in other cities.


Rental housing outlook:


The situation for tenants is only likely to worsen once eviction bans are lifted, Dr Powell said.


“When we start to see the rental moratorium ends, we’re likely to see significant jumps in asking rents,” she said. “There would be many tenants who were paying below-market rent.


“Tenants in a rising rental market who are paying below market rent will stay put until they have to move because they’re being protected by the legislation that stops hikes in nets and stops them being evicted.”


Key Takeaways

With some regional areas having a vacancy rate of less than 1% and 30 to 50 people turning up at accommodation below $750 per week, we expect to see this continuing in areas such as the Gold and Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Central NSW and some regional areas where people can have a slower pace of life, and now work from home.


Office space will be the big loser, while residencial will continue to continue to flourish.



Source: Domain

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