Industry NewsNSWReal Estate Industry News

Sydney vacancy rates down for first time since COVID-19 hit

It might be too early to say for sure, but the REINSW Vacancy Rate Survey results for August 2020 suggest that the worst may be over.

Vacancies across Sydney overall decreased for the first time in August, after five consecutive months of increases, and now sit at 3.7 per cent – a drop of 1.3 per cent from July.

Similarly, vacancies in the Inner, Middle and Outer Rings of Sydney all recorded easing rates, with drops of 0.6 per cent, 0.8 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively.

“The Sydney market is showing the first signs of a turnaround,” REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said.

“But even with these drops in August, vacancies across Sydney are still markedly higher than they were at the start of the year.”

Newcastle, Wollongong, and many regional areas followed suit, decreasing slightly.

“Vacancies across most of regional New South Wales remain extremely tight,” Mr McKibbin said.

“The Central Coast, Northern Rivers, Orana and Riverina regions were the only areas to record an increase in vacancies over the last month.

“Anecdotal feedback from our members indicates that the easing of vacancy rates across much of New South Wales may be attributable to landlords responding to the changed market conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With so many people experiencing job losses or reduced pay, many tenants have had to relinquish properties and go in search of more affordable options. Landlords faced with vacant properties are now, in turn, reducing weekly rents to entice tenants.

“The result? Tenants have the opportunity to secure a rental property that suits their budget, landlords are not faced with vacant properties, and vacancies across the state have reduced.

“It’s all part of the new ‘COVID-19 normal’ for the residential rental market.”

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