Landlords prosper as vacancy rates remain tight

Landlords continue to hold the upper hand over tenants with new data showing little movement in already tight residential vacancy rates.

Figures released by property research house SQM Research revealed most capital cities either remained the same or recorded slight increases during April.

Darwin was the only capital city to record a monthly decline, falling from 0.6 per cent to 0.5 per cent.

Overall, the level of residential vacancies increased by 0.1 per cent to 1.8 per cent during the month of April, rising on a national level by 3,525 vacancies and coming to a total of 50,848 vacancies.

SQM Research said while it appeared the rental market had relaxed slightly in the past month, it remains tight at best with Melbourne being the only capital city to reveal a vacancy rate of over three per cent.

Melbourne was recording these high figures a few months back and has now climbed back up – revealing a vacancy rate of 3.1 per cent – a total of 11,476 vacancies.

In other capitals, Sydney’s vacancy rate edged up 0.2 per cent to 1.7 per cent; Brisbane’s remained steady at 1.5 per cent; Adelaide’s vacancy rate increased 0.2 per cent to 1.6 per cent; Perth’s rose by 0.1 per cent to 0.6 per cent; while Hobart’s vacancy rate rose by 0.2 per cent to 2.6 per cent.

“We believe that until the property sales market begins to pick up, we will not see substantial relief for renters, and most capital cities (with Melbourne and Hobart being the exceptions) will remain a landlord’s market for the time being,” said Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM Research.

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


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