Residential Property

Residential vacancies ease in January

The national residential vacancy rate fell to 2.3 per cent in January, down from 2.5 per cent in December 2017, as renters nabbed homes for the start of the new year, new data has revealed.

The SQM research indicated there were 74,113 actual vacancies across the nation in the first month of the year.

During January, Sydney and Melbourne both experienced a 0.3 per cent reduction in vacancy rates, landing on 2.3 per cent (down from 2.6 per cent in December) and 1.8 per cent (down from 2.1 per cent in December) respectively.

The figures showed Hobart continued to suffer from a severe shortage of rental properties, with vacancy rates hovering just above 0.4 per cent, up slightly from 0.3 per cent in December.

There were 126 vacancies in January in Hobart, up from 96 in December 2017, but down from 186 in January 2017, or a vacancy rate of 0.6 per cent.
Perth still had the highest vacancy rate of any capital city, but it was down from 4.6 per cent in December 2017 to 4.4 per cent in January.

SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said: “We’ve seen falls across all cities as students prepare for their first semester of study and lease new homes, and workers also secure new rentals, especially in Canberra, which has a transient workforce, and Sydney too.

“We are seeing very tight rental conditions in Hobart, which is putting strong upward pressure on rents.”

Darwin’s vacancy rate fell to 3.1 per cent from 3.5 per cent in December 2017 as the surplus of rental properties eased.

Hobart also led the way with regard to asking rents, experiencing a jump of 5.1 per cent for houses and 5.3 per cent for units during the month.

The asking rent for a three-bedroom house in Sydney remains the highest in the country at $745 a week, while asking rents for units stood at $525.

Asking rents for houses increased in Melbourne by 0.4 per cent over the month to $528, while unit asking rents rose 1.2 per cent over the month to $402 a week.

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