Canberra’s rental market is expected to remain competitive for tenants this year, according to the latest report from Domain.

House and unit rents in Canberra reached new record highs by the end of last year, jumping by 3.4% to $600 and 3.1% to $495, respectively.

With this growth in rents, Canberra has become the most expensive capital to rent a house or a unit. This is the first time in 10 years that the city has the highest unit rents of all capitals.

While Canberra posted a monthly increase in rental vacancy rates in December to 1.1%, this level was still lower than the December 2019 rate of 1.7%.

"Tenants will find securing a lease remains competitive and some may have to resort to offering above advertised asking rents. This lack of vacant rentals will continue to drive up rent prices," the report said.

However, Canberra remains attractive to tenants and investors, given that it is relatively insulated from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The territory has fewer international arrivals relative to other cities impacting rental demand to a lesser extent. Having a strong public service employment base has meant minor job losses compared to that seen in the private sector," the report said.