SQM Research has released rental vacancy data for the month of January, which reveals a tightening market outside of Sydney and Melbourne.
As shown in the table below, the vacancy rate nationally fell to 2.0% in January, down 0.1% from the same time last year:
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However, rental vacancies were higher than a year ago across Melbourne and Sydney, reflecting in part the collapse in immigration that has taken place when the COVID pandemic hit in March last year:
By contrast, vacancies across every other mainland capital are significantly lower than last year.
According to SQM Managing Director, Louis Christopher, everywhere but Sydney’s and Melbourne’s high-rise apartment market has tightened:
“There is more evidence the worse is over for landlords in the Sydney and Melbourne rental markets. The falls in vacancy rates for the month in those two cities, combined with the increased tightness in other cities and regions, has now brought rental vacancy rates down to below where they were prior to the outbreak of Covid19.
“Now to be clear, CBD rental vacancy rates in both Sydney and Melbourne remain elevated, despite recent falls. And we remain of the view that there will not be a complete reversal of the sharp rise in rental vacancy rates experienced in these locations in earlier 2020. Demand for inner city property will remain affected by the closure of the international border as well as ongoing caution on future city lockdowns. This will mean 2021 will remain largely a tenant’s market in the inner cities but will also very much remain a landlord’s market for regional Australia”.
You can’t fault his logic, given the massive rise in apartment rental listings in Sydney and Melbourne, whereas house rental listings have remained relatively stable:
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