Melbourne rental vacancies swell

New data from Domain shows that Melbourne’s rental vacancy rate has nearly doubled since March, from 1.7% to 3.2%. And this is forcing down rents:

…more than a quarter [of the nation’s vacancies] were in Melbourne, where the vacancy rate pushed up to 3.2 per cent over the month, as the city’s second lockdown to curb the coronavirus pandemic impacted on demand for rental properties.

The rate increase – up from 3 per cent in June and 1.7 per cent in March – was a result of more than 1200 additional Melbourne properties becoming vacant over the month of July, which saw the city return to stage three coronavirus restrictions. It brought the total number of vacant Melbourne properties to more than 17,800, according to Domain data.

The rising vacancy rate was to be expected in Melbourne, which entered into stage four restrictions this week, Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said.

“Melbourne deviating from other capitals was expected given it’s well into the next lockdown, so any renewed short-term demand on rentals has been stopped,” Dr Powell said.

The elevated vacancy rate could continue to put downward pressure on rents, which have already seen median price declines of 3.5 per cent for houses and 2.3 per cent for units.

Elsewhere, rental vacancy rates tightened in July as the nation moved out of COVID-19 restrictions:

The severe increase in rental vacancies in Melbourne makes sense given it has been hardest hit by COVID-19 lockdowns. It is also most exposed to the collapse in immigration:

Leith van Onselen
Latest posts by Leith van Onselen (see all)


    • If you are in the 96.8% then there is literally no worries at all. Laissez les bon temps roulez!

      The folks who have contributed to the vacancies must be coming off the relations circuit surely?

    • billygoatMEMBER

      Elwood Landlord refused rent reduction Corona onset.
      Now into full covid melt down 25% reduction then review as things improve / go back to normal in 3 months – 12 weeks:)))))))

  1. I know half a dozen people at least who are moving back in with their parents – with families in tow.

    People need to start selling NOW – this hold on till Christmas is going to hurt people very badly.

    • HODL and then taking a bigger hammering is the medicine that is needed to debase Australians of the religion of property. They need to feel like the israelites that their DOG has forsaken them ….

  2. 2/3rds price fall for top of market houses in blue chip suburbs as remote workers empty out of overcrowded and precariously underemployed urban areas.

    Those not so long ago $7million properties are not so anymore.

  3. BoomToBustMEMBER

    Anecdata also shows people (like us) are looking to leave Vic and move to QLD. I saw an article yesterday saying a moving company recieved 20,000 inquires for Victorians looking to leave Vic when the lockdown started. Mrs BoomtoBust and I have been actively discussing our future prospects in Vic for the last few day and we are growing tired of the poor lifestyle and high cost of living in Melbourne. We are currently working towards greener pastures elsewhere.

    When you look at Vic its going to be a disaster for many years, our economy doesnt have mining or much tourism. We are basically a ponzi based on education, immigration and housing, when all of those collapse even if housing is significantly more affordable it will take years to recover. Time to move on.