Sydney's vacancy rate up in the air

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Disagreement surrounds Sydney’s residential vacancy rate, with two organisations releasing differing figures on how many dwellings are looking for tenants.

According to SQM Research, Sydney’s vacancy rate saw a small increase over November, from 1.6% to 1.7%, with total vacancies rising from 9,692 to 10,045.

Head of SQM research Louis Christopher said the increase his firm had documented was in line with seasonal trends.

“Vacancies appear to be following the common seasonal trends expected at this time of year, where rental accommodation tends to become more available for a variety of factors,” Christopher said.

“The most predominant of these factors is the departure of University students from their regular rental accommodation over the long four month summer break,” he said.

But the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) believes Sydney’s rental market tightened over the month.

The November REINSW Vacancy Rate Survey claimed Sydney’s vacancy rate decreased 0.2% to 1.7% over November

According to the REINSW, vacancies in inner Sydney fell 0.3% to 1.8%, middle Sydney slipped 0.2% to 1.7% and outer Sydney rose 0.1% to 1.7%.

“The popularity of inner Sydney was recognised during the month of November and the flood of new apartments reaching completion declined to see vacancy rates hit their lowest level since May,” REINSW President John Cunningham said.  

Elsewhere, the Hunter region slipped 0.2% to 2.5% accrodring to the REINSW, with Newcastle down 0.1% at 2.1%.

In the Illawarra the overall vacancy rate fell 0.9% to 1.0% with Wollongong slipping from 2.6% to 1.1%.

In the regional areas Albury fell 0.4% at 2.4%, Orana fell 0.2 % to 2.1%, while Central Coast rose 0.3% to 2.2% and Northern Rivers was up 0.3% at 1.5%.

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