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Sydney vacancy rate hits nine-year low

Finding a rental property in Sydney is getting increasingly difficult, with new data showing the rental vacancy rate has just hit a nine-year low.

The latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) shows that the vacancy rate fell 0.1 per cent to 1.6 per cent in September after looking like it was starting to level out in August.

REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said the falls in vacancies are occurring across the city.

“Vacancies in Sydney really are at a historical low,” Mr McKibbin said.

“Not since November 2013, almost nine years ago, have we seen the residential vacancy rate for Sydney overall as low as 1.6 per cent

“The drop is attributable to vacancies in the Inner, Middle and Outer Rings each dropping by 0.1 per cent to be 2.1 per cent, 1.1 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.”

Outside Sydney, finding a home to rent also continues to present a real challenge for tenants.

“Vacancy rates in the Hunter region and Wollongong remained stable at 1.4 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively, and regional areas across the state continue to be extremely tight,” Mr McKibbin said.

“These latest results show that there’s no denying that a rental crisis continues to grip New South Wales. 

Mr McKibbin said rising prices and a lack of supply is hurting tenants.

“Cost-of-living pressures continue to mount for tenants and landlords alike, and recent interest rate hikes will undoubtedly put pressure on some landlords to increase rents,” he said.

“Undoubtedly, many tenants would embrace the opportunity to secure a more affordable rental property. 

“However, despite rent increases, they’re choosing to stay put because they’re just not confident that they’ll be able to secure another property.”

According to Mr McKibbin, there’s no quick fix for the problem.

“Supply continues to be the key problem. In short, there is simply not enough housing to cope with demand and this is putting tremendous pressure on the rental market,” he said.

“It’s difficult to see how the rental crisis will ease anytime soon.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.