New drop for tenants as the vacancy rate reaches new lows

The national rental vacancy rate is at its lowest level since 2018, reflecting further tightening in an already scarce rental market.

Capitals saw a 0.1 percentage point drop in the job vacancies rate in February to now stand at 1.43 percent, according to the latest PropTrack Market Insight report.

Vacancy rates measure the percentage of rental properties that are available for rent, meaning that only 1.43 percent of all rental properties are on the market for renters.

The vacancy rate in the capitals has decreased steadily since 2021.
camera iconThe vacancy rate in the capitals has decreased steadily since 2021. credit: supplied

The number is half the level seen before the pandemic, with capital cities seeing a -55 percent change in vacancy rates since March 2020.

The end of the pandemic has boosted rental demand in the country’s largest cities, with Sydney down a full percentage point last year and Melbourne down 1.8 percent.

Adelaide and Perth had the lowest available rents at 0.92 per cent and 0.85 per cent respectively.

Brisbane posted a slight decrease of 0.07 percent, while Hobart and the ACT were the only cities to see slight increases of 0.06 percent and 0.02 percent, respectively.

Sydney rental market
camera iconLong lines have become common outside rental inspections as people compete for properties. NCA NewsWire/Jeremy Piper credit: News Corp Australia

The news is not good for renters who are in short supply to drive “continued rapid increases in rental rates through 2023,” according to report author and Proptrack chief economist Paul Ryan.

“Almost all areas across the country have rentals

Ryan said vacancy rates are less than 2 percent — meaning less than 2 percent of all rental properties are available for rent.

A vacancy rate of less than 2 percent indicates very tight conditions.

“With rental demand expected to remain strong, we do not see any reprieve for tenants in the coming months.”

February was also the first time that it became more difficult to find rental property in capitals than in regional areas for the first time since the pandemic began.

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