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Vacancy rates hold steady in November

Vacancy rates across the country remain at record low levels, holding steady at 0.8 per cent according to Domain.

Domain’s November Rental Vacancy Rate Report also found rental listings rose for the first time since April while vacancy rates increased across most of the capital cities.

Sydney saw an increase in vacancy rates for the first time since December 2021, but remains low at 1.1 per cent.

Brisbane’s vacancy rates rose to 0.7 per cent, after six months of sitting at 0.6 per cent, while Canberra’s vacancy rate improved, sitting at its highest point since December 2020 at 1.2 per cent..

Melbourne was the only city to see a decrease over the month, dropping from 1.2 per cent to 1.1 per cent, driven by the decline in rental listings.

Perth and Darwin were the only cities to remain steady, at 0.3 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively, and Adelaide saw a rise in its vacancy rate to 0.3 per cent.

Domain Chief of Research and Economics, Dr Nicola Powell said conditions were still difficult for renters.

“Housing stress is continuing across the country with Domain’s latest vacancy rate report showing no signs of improvement since last month’s national record low,” Dr Powell said.

“Tenants continue to face tough conditions in this competitive market, with asking rents on a record-breaking streak of increases.” 

Nationally, vacant rental listings are 46.6 per cent lower annually and also remain lower across most of the capital cities. 

In Sydney, the rental market is more competitive now compared to pre-Covid levels according to the report.

This improvement is driven by a boost in available rental stock after four months of a decline. 

Melbourne was the only city to see a monthly and annual drop in the number of available rental listings in November. 

It experienced the greatest annual fall in rental listings of the capital cities, down 63.8 per cent. 

Melbourne now has the same vacancy rate as Sydney for the first time since July 2020. 

If this downward trend continues, Melbourne will return to having a tighter rental market than Sydney.

Brisbane recorded an increase after six months of a steady vacancy rate, with the number of rental listings jumping for the third consecutive month to its highest level since February, showing rental conditions are improving, although it still has a way to go to provide much-needed relief to tenants.   

Adelaide had the biggest monthly surge in the number of available rentals in all the capitals, however, vacancy rates remain low, continuing its reign as the most competitive city for tenants along with Perth. 

Hobart’s vacancy rate increased for the first time since June, driven by a jump in rental listings both monthly and annually, while Canberra’s vacancy rate is now sitting at its highest point since December 2020. 

Dr Powell said there are often more rental listings hitting the market at the start of summer.

“Seasonally, we see a lift in vacant rentals at this time of the year as the rental market move into the busy changeover period,” she said.

“With affordability constraints continuing into the new year, we may see current tenants shift towards more affordable rental options during this changeover.”

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Rowan Crosby

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

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