Tenants on Top in Sydney Rental Market


The Sydney rental market has recorded the highest vacancy rate in at least 13 years, according to SQM Research.

Monthly rental vacancy figures revealed 2.8 per cent of Sydney's rental properties were sitting empty in June.

That is up nearly an entire percentage point from the same time last year and is the highest level since SQM started recording the data in 2005.

"There is now a greater supply of rental accommodation at a time when the growth in rental demand is probably falling a little," SQM managing director Louis Christopher said.

"Sydney rents are now down for the year and it is likely rents will continue to slip as there is still a lot of supply coming in the pipeline.

"I believe Sydney will shortly record a fall in its population growth rate due to a relatively recent steep rise in interstate migration towards Queensland.

"I think this is the only time in my career that I can say with certainty that Sydney is now a buyer's and a renter's market, simultaneously."

Related: Hobart's 'Severe Shortage' of Property Drives Record Low Vacancy Rates

CityJune 2017 VacanciesVacancy RateMay 2018 VacanciesVacancy RateJune 2018 VacanciesVacancy Rate

SQM's calculations are based on online rental listings that have been advertised for three weeks or more compared to the total number of established rental properties.

Nationally, the vacancy rate was marginally up at 2.3 per cent, with the number of vacancies Australia-wide now sitting at 75,757 properties.

Hobart continues to record the lowest vacancy rate, unchanged from May at 0.7 per cent, followed closely by Canberra at 0.9 per cent.

Perth recorded the highest vacancy rate of the capital cities, unchanged from May at 4.1 per cent in June, but down from 5.4 per cent a year ago.

Melbourne’s vacancy rate continues to inch up to 1.6 per cent from 1.4 per cent.

Sydney’s vacancy rate also rose to 2.8 per cent from 2.5 per cent and up from 2.0 per cent a year earlier.

Perth and Darwin also continued to have worse rental vacancy rates than Sydney, at 4.1 and 3.5 per cent respectively.

However, Perth's vacancy rate has improved from 5.4 per cent in June last year.

Capital city asking rents for houses fell over the month to 12 July 2018 by 0.4 per cent to $549 a week.

Unit asking rents remain steady at $444 a week.

Over the year, asking house rents rose just 0.5 per cent, while unit asking rents rose modestly by 0.9 per cent.

Sydney was the only city to record falls in rents for the year with rents for houses down by 2.2 per cent and units down by 0.1 per cent.

The biggest increases were in Canberra where asking house rents jumped 13 per cent to $630.70 and Hobart where units increased 10.4 per cent to $347.30.

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