The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in several changes in the rental market, one of which is the increase in the number of rental properties being sold, according to the latest study by Suburbtrends.

According to the study, 11% of the properties listed for sale during the first week of May came from the rental market.

"I expected to see something high, but definitely not at this level. What will be interesting now is how many landlords jump ship due to personal financial stress, especially once the stimulus measures end in a few months’ time," Kent Lardner, director at Suburbtrends, said in a LinkedIn post.

The highest share of rental-turned-for sale was in ACT, where one in five homes listed for sale are rental properties.

"I now have two concerns. First is sale prices being pushed down in over-supplied markets. Second is the long-term impact on rentals, with potentially fewer properties available for a growing pool of renters nationally," Lardner said.

A recent report by SQM Research said the economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak have caused a "blow-out" in rental vacancy rates in major CBDs.

"This might be attributed to the significant loss in employment in our CBDs plus the drop off in international students. We are well aware of a surge in short term accommodation now being advertised for long term leasing," said Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM.

The sustained increase in rental listings could then result in deeper falls in rents, Christopher said.