By Robert Carry
The vacancy rate on rental properties across Victoria remained extremely tight last month, a new survey from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) has found.
REIV CEO Enzo Raimondo said that although the vacancy rate in Melbourne remained low, it did remain stable, at 1.4%. The availability of vacancies has halved in the outer suburbs meanwhile halved from 1.2% in September to 0.6% in October.
Raimondo pointed out that the availability of rental homes had not improved in three years and shows no sign of improving in the near future.
"There is only one solution to the issue - to accommodate our growing population we need to build more homes where people want to live," he said. "For some, that is in the growing outer suburbs but for others it is in established inner-city suburbs."
Raimondo said that unless the rate of dwelling commencements increases soon the vacancy rate will contract further as the population in Victoria continues to rise.
Melbourne's middle suburbs had the highest vacancy rate at 1.9% although this was still well below what the 3% figure the REIV describes as a balanced market level.
"A similar situation exists in the key regional centers - Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat," Raimondo added. "In each case the vacancy rate is worse than in Melbourne, with Bendigo REIV Members reporting practically no vacancies."
Meanwhile, the REIV's September quarter Property Update showed that the median price of a house in Melbourne has reached $480,000 - an increase of 6.7% since the June quarter.
According to the REIV, the level of demand varied according to the number of bedrooms and the location of the home.
In the detached houses segment the strongest demand in the quarter was for four-bedroom houses in the inner east, where the median price increased by 15.2%, from $1,420,000 to $1,636,250.
The second-highest increase in price was found in the outer east, where two-bedroom houses now show a median price of $454,544, an increase of 13.9%t from $399,100 in the June quarter.
Third on the list were two-bedroom houses in the inner east and three-bedroom houses in the inner south, both of which recorded a 13 per cent improvement.
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