More rental pain as vacancy rates fall

The vacancy rate slumped to 1.02 per cent in October marking a 0.6 percentage point slide from the previous month, with experts predicting the trend is likely to continue.

Capital cities across Australia continue to grapple with housing crises with the most recent PropTrack report revealing every capital city’s vacancy rate has dropped or remained at the same level, with the only exception of Darwin which rose to 2.47 per cent.

For Rent sign in front of new house
The rental vacancy rates for Australia has slipped to lowest levels on record with most capital cities seeing their rates drop. Photo: Supplied.

PropTrack economist, and author of the report, Anne Flaherty said the pain was not just being felt by renters in capital cities, as regional hubs also seeing record lows.

“Tenants faced even tougher conditions in October, with the proportion of rental properties sitting vacant falling to the lowest level on record,” Ms Flaherty said.

She said just 1.02 per cent of rentals were vacant throughout October, with record lows recorded down the east coast.

“Conditions have also deteriorated in regional areas, with vacancy down 0.31 percentage points over the quarter,” she added.

Sydney saw a drop to 1.11 per cent and the rate in Perth remained under 1 per cent for the 15th month in a row, sitting at just 0.7 per cent.

Much of the same was recorded for Brisbane which saw the vacancy rate fall to 0.87 per cent.

Adelaide remains the capital city with the lowest vacancy rate in the country. Photo: NCA NewsWire / Emma Brasier.

The South Australian capital held it’s position with the lowest vacancy rate in the country, holding at 0.67 per cent, while Hobart made the most significant drop of 0.18 percentage points to 1.21 per cent.

Ms Flaherty said the national vacancy rate has been “trending down” for the better part of three years attributing strong population growth to the rental squeeze.

Local government in Melbourne, where the vacancy rate dropped to 1.09 per cent, made the contentious plan to increase rental availability by targeting the short-term rental market, such as Airbnb.

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Lord Mayor Sally Capp (centre) backed restrictions on short-term rental accommodation to encourage long-term rentals in Melbourne’s CBD. Photos: Jason Edwards.

Melbourne was announced as the new most populous city earlier this year, surpassing Sydney with over 4.8 million people finding residence in the significant urban area.

In early September the Melbourne City Council floated an annual registration fee and an accompanying day-per-year cap for short-term accommodation to encourage more long-term rental opportunities.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said back in August that the city was in a “housing crisis” and making every possible home available mattered.

“That’s why we’re looking at ways to encourage property owners to move into the long-term rental market,” Ms Capp said.