Sydney vacancy rates plummet to the lowest level in more than three years

Vacancy rates in Sydney have dropped down to 2.6 per cent, hitting the lowest level since 2018.

The Real Estate Institute of NSW Vacancy Rate Survey results for August 2021 showed that residential rental vacancies in Sydney have dropped for the fourth consecutive month.

The vacancy rate has lowered to 2.6 per cent, which is a further 0.3 per cent decline from last month.

The vacancy rate is down 1.7 per cent from April (4.3 per cent),

It is the lowest rate for Sydney since May 2018, when the rate fell to 2.4 per cent, according to REINSW chief executive officer Tim McKibbin.

“The decrease is attributable to lower vacancies in Sydney’s Inner and Outer Rings, which dropped by 0.2 per cent to 2.9 per cent and 0.6 per cent to 1.7 per cent respectively,” Mr McKibbin said.

“In contrast, vacancies in the Middle Ring rose by 0.1 per cent to be 4.0 per cent.”

Mr McKibbin said that Sydney’s residential rental market has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The latest lockdown is biting hard, with businesses shut and people out of work,” he said.

“Our member agents are telling us about mum and dad investors who are selling their hard-earned investment properties to stay afloat.

“With so little stock on the market, these properties are being snapped up by home buyers. The flow-on impact is the removal of these properties from the residential rental market.”

Outside Sydney, vacancies also dropped significantly in Newcastle to 2.2 per cent (down 1.8 per cent), however the number of available properties rose slightly in Wollongong to 1.5 per cent (up 0.1 per cent).

Vacancy rates across regional New South Wales continue to remain extremely tight.

“Rates in the Central West, Mid-North Coast, Murrumbidgee, Northern Rivers, Orana and South Coast areas all dropped in August,” Mr McKibbin said.

“The Riverina remained stable for the month, while the Albury, Central Coast, Coffs Harbour, New England and South Eastern areas each experienced a slight uptick in the availability of rental accommodation.”

Mr McKibbin added that it seems that the pandemic rollercoaster is far from over for the residential rental market.

“The last 18 months have been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs across New South Wales, leaving landlords and tenants alike doing their best to respond to unpredictable market conditions,” he said.

“This unpredictability will likely continue as we see the impact of current lockdown conditions continue to trickle through to vacancy rate figures in the coming months.”

Aug 2021July 2021June 2021May 2021April 2021
Sydney total2.
Residential vacancy rate (%). Source: REINSW

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