10-year inner city high pushes Sydney's vacancy rate up

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The increased availability of rental stock in inner Sydney led to a rise in the city’s residential vacancy rate during June.

Figures from the latest Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) Vacancy Rate Survey show Sydney finished June with its vacancy rate rising 0.2% to 2.1%.

The increase was driven by vacancies in the inner city hitting 10-year highs as new stock on the market has proved slow to fill.

“Inner Sydney jumped from lows of 1.7% in April and May to 2.6% in June, a figure last seen some 10 years ago in September 2005 when vacancy rates hit 3.0 %,” REINSW president Malcolm Gunning said.

“The increase is due to a large number of apartments that have been released into the market, which are not moving as quickly as expected,” Gunning said.

It isn’t all bad for Sydney land lords, with Gunning predicting rents to rise in Sydney’s outer suburbs as the construction industry attracts people to the area.

“There is a different story in Middle Sydney and in particular Outer Sydney, which have seen vacancy rates fall 0.3% to 1.9% and 0.2% to 1.7% respectively,” Gunning said

“There are declining vacancy rates in Outer Western Sydney because the construction cycle has lagged behind the Inner Suburbs and big infrastructure projects are driving demand.

“We are seeing people moving from the mines to these areas because there are many jobs in construction.”

In the Illawarra the overall vacancy rate rose 0.4 % to 2.2 %, led by an increase of 0.3 % to 2.4 % in Wollongong.

The Hunter region saw availability rise 0.4 % to 3.5 % despite a fall of 0.4 % to 3.8 % in Newcastle.

The region with the highest availability was the South East, up 0.5 % at 4.7 %. The Central West rose 0.2 % to 3.5 %.

Northern Rivers has the lowest vacancy rate at 1.5 %, up 0.4 %, while Albury, Mid-North Coast, and Murrumbidgee were all at 2.0 %.

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