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REINSW vacancy survey shows rental market remains unpredictable

If there’s one thing the past year has taught everyone in the industry, it’s to expect the unexpected, and the results of the latest REINSW Vacancy Rate Survey show that the rental market across the state remains unpredictable.  

Overall vacancies for Sydney tightened last month and now sit at 3.1 per cent, down 0.5 per cent from January, and Sydney’s Inner Ring dropped to 3.7 per cent, a decrease of 1.1m per cent for the month. 

REINSW’s CEO Tim McKibbin said vacancies in Sydney’s Outer Ring dropped by 0.6 per cent to 1.9 per cent but bucking the trend, vacancies in the Middle Ring remained relatively stable, experiencing a 0.1 per cent rise to 4.3 per cent.

“Some of this downward movement may be due to families making decisions to move ahead of the start of the new school year and university students converging on the city for another year of study,” Mr McKibbin said. 

“However, if the last 12 months have taught us anything, it’s that the residential rental market remains unpredictable, moving up and down month after month.” 

Outside Sydney, vacancy rates remained stable in the Hunter region, rising 0.1 per cent to be 1.3 per cent, and vacancies in the Illawarra region also increased – rising a full per cent to 2.1 per cent. But vacancy rates across much of the rest of regional NSW continue to remain extremely tight. 

“Rates in the Albury, Central West, Murrumbidgee, New England, Northern Rivers, and South East areas all dropped in February,” Mr McKibbin said.

“Feedback from our members in these areas indicates that stock is extremely tight, as tenants continue to exit the Sydney residential rental market to secure a property that suits both their budget and desired lifestyle.” 

The Central Coast, Coffs Harbour and Riverina areas remained stable in February, while Mid North Coast, Orana, and South Coast each experienced a slight uptick in the availability of rental accommodation.

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