Vacancy rates drop in NSW regional hubs

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There has been a significant drop in the residential vacancy rates of NSW’s key regional metropolitan centres, according to the latest data from the state’s real estate institute.

The latest REINSW rental report notes that in December the vacancy rate in Newcastle fell significantly for the second month running. The city’s vacancy rate now sits at 1.1%, following a 0.8% drop over the last two months. The wider Hunter region saw a drop of 0.3% during December to record a vacancy rate of just 1.1%.

Wollongong’s vacancy rate dropped slightly by 0.1% to hit 2.2% for December, while the wider Illawarra region recorded 1.6% – representing a monthly drop of 0.2%.

The Central Coast, however, bucked the trend for declining vacancy rates – recording a slight 0.1% increase. Nonetheless, its vacancy rate remains tight at 1.6%.

Sydney, too, saw its stock of available rental properties increase during December, with the metropolitan area’s vacancy rate increasing by 0.2% to reach 1.6%. The REINSW pointed out, however, that this increase is most likely due to seasonal variations rather than being a sign of an ongoing trend.

Sydney’s inner and middle rings (0-10km and 10-25km from the CBD respectively) each saw their vacancy rates increase by 0.3%, while the outer ring (25km-plus) saw a slight 0.1% rise. All three zones, however, still managed to record vacancy rates of 2% or less – indicating tight rental market conditions.

REINSW President Christian Payne noted that the state’s rental market is expected to tighten as 2012 progresses, with the first quarter of the year in particular providing numerous reasons why the demand for rental property will increase.

“The New Year traditionally signals an increase in demand for rental properties across the board,” he said. “The already low levels of available rental properties are likely to be squeezed even further as people return to work and schools and universities resume for the academic year.”

The results:

Source: REINSW

How long will the rental squeeze continue? Have your say on our property investment forum.

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