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Vacancy rates on the rise across NSW

In positive news for NSW renters, vacancy rates continue to rise, however, conditions still remain tighter than prior to the pandemic.

According to the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) Vacancy Rate Survey for August 2023, Sydney’s vacancy rate increased 0.2 per cent to 1.8 per cent.

That’s up from a low of 1.3 per cent in May 2023, and while the vacancy rate has been steadily rising since, it’s still not close to 3 per cent, which is considered a healthy market.

REINSW Chief Executive Officer Tim McKibbin said despite the uptick, rental availability remained at crisis levels and well below pre-pandemic rates.

“Vacancies have been hovering between 1.3 per cent and 1.8 per cent over the last 12 months, fluctuating from month to month,” Mr McKibbin said.

The rise in Sydney’s vacancy rate came on the back of vacancies increasing in both the inner and outer rings over the past month.

“Sydney’s inner ring rose to 2.1 per cent, an increase of 0.2 per cent for the month, and the outer ring rose to 1.7 per cent,” Mr McKibbin said.

“The middle ring remained stable at 1.5 per cent.”

Source: REINSW

Similarly, residential vacancies in both the Hunter and Illawarra rose slightly.

“In the Hunter region, the vacancy rate increased by 0.3 per cent to be 2.1 per cent,” Mr McKibbin said.

“The Illawarra region also rose, now sitting at 2.3 per cent.”

Vacancies also remain tight across most regional areas of NSW.

“Vacancy rates for the New England, Orana and Riverina areas each dropped,” Mr McKibbin said. 

“The Albury, Central Coast, Central West, Mid-North Coast, Murrumbidgee, Northern Rivers, South Coast and South East areas all eased.”

Mr McKibbin said that while the latest data shows a slight easing in vacancy rates, there is little cause for celebration.

“Fluctuations are to be expected from month to month, but there’s no doubt that the rental crisis continues to maintain its grip on NSW,” he said.

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Rowan Crosby

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