Vacancy rates remain tight

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The national vacancy dropped for the second month running in February, according to the latest figures from SQM Research.

SQM Research now puts February’s national vacancy rate at 1.7%, a 0.1% drop on January’s figure, but this remains 0.1% higher than February 2010’s figure of 1.6%.

Canberra remains the capital city with the lowest vacancy rate (0.6%), followed by Perth (1%), Hobart (1.1%), Adelaide (1.2%) and Sydney (1.3%).

Melbourne has the most open rental market, with a vacancy rate of 2.8%, followed by Darwin (2.3%) and Brisbane (1.8%).

"Overall, these vacancy statistics reveal an ongoing tight rental market nationwide, with some cities recording tighter results than others,” said SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher.

"This has been resulting in higher than average rental growth per annum as in the case in Sydney, where rents have grown on a compounded basis by 8.8% per annum for the past five years.”

Six out of eight state capitals saw a month-to-month reduction in vacancy rates, with Melbourne and Brisbane’s 0.3% drops leading the way, while the two state capitals not to see a monthly drop in vacancy rates (Adelaide and Hobart) saw no change from January’s figure.

"With this type of vacancy rate result, it implies once again this this year we will see rents grow faster than inflation," said Christopher.

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