Rental markets still in favor of owners

Rental markets in Australia remained tight at the end of 2021 despite rising vacancy rates.

The latest Domain report showed a marginal increase in the vacancy rate in Australia to 1.7%, but this figure was still lower than in previous years.

The increase in vacancy rates was caused by all the capital cities except Hobart and Adelaide, whose vacancy rates are remained stable at troughs for several years.

On an annual basis, only Darwin records an increase in the vacancy rate.

Dec-21Nov-21Dec-20MoM Annual National 1.7% 1.5% 2.4% ? ? Sydney 2.6% 2.3% 3.7% ? ? Melbourne 3.2% 3.0% 5.2% ? ? Brisbane 1.3% 1.2% 1.8% ? ? Perth 0.6% 0.5% 0.9% ? ? Adelaide 0.4% 0.4% 0.7% – ? Hobart 0.3% 0.3% 0.5% – ? Canberra 1.0% 0.9% 1.3% ? ? Darwin 1.3% 0.9% 1.0% ?? Data provided by

Research and Economics Area Manager Dr Nicola Powell said that despite the slight increase in the number of rental properties available in December, conditions continue to point to a market of owners.

"At the start of 2022, it is likely that we will see a decrease in the number of vacant rental properties, as the historic high rental demand in January reduces the number of vacant rental listings," said Dr. Powell.

However, the case could be different for Sydney and Melbourne, where vacancy rates have increased the most among all the capitals.

Sydney recorded its second consecutive month of rising vacancy rates to 2.6%, the highest level since May 2021 and the same rate reached in March 2020.

At the end of December, the city recorded a 13.8% increase in rental listings.

In Melbourne, the vacancy rate hit 3.2%, ending the downward trend that included four consecutive months of declining vacancies.

Although Melbourne's vacancy rate is lower on a year-over-year basis, it has remained significantly high, approximately twice as high as pre-COVID levels.

"It will be interesting to see what 2022 brings and if there is a shift towards an owner market in the two largest real estate markets," said Dr. Powell.

"Rental markets will be even more strained as borders reopen and the flow of international students, overseas migrants and expatriates picks up.

“Sydney and Melbourne are likely to come under greater pressure because historically they have received more foreign migrants than other cities. "

Photo by @apriiil on Unsplash.

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