Vacancy rates in Australia rose for the first time since December 2022, but conditions remained competitive for tenants looking for a home.

According to Domain, vacancy rates increased in May to 0.9% after four consecutive months of remaining steady at record lows.

Outside the seasonal December bounce, this is the first monthly increase since October 2020.

“While Australia remains a landlords’ market, this monthly rise and the previous stretch of steady vacancy rates over the last twelve months suggest conditions are beginning to marginally improve for tenants,” the report said.

Along with the increase in vacancy rates was the increase in vacant rental listings, continuing the streak to reach the highest point this year.

However, rental listings are still 6.9% lower compared to last year, mainly due to the drop in the two biggest capital cities, Sydney and Melbourne.

While all markets continue to see an annual improvement in rental listings, they remain firmly in favour of landlords.

Here are the rental market highlights in each capital cities over the month:

  • Sydney – Vacancy rates increased for the second consecutive month, driven by the steady increase in rental supply.
  • Melbourne – Vacancy rates remained steady but there continues to be a mismatch between supply and demand. The city continues to see the greatest annual fall in rental listings among all capitals.
  • Brisbane – The increase in the volume of vacant rental listings monthly and annually is driving the increase in vacancy rates in this city. This seems to indicate that Brisbane is moving away from the highly competitive conditions last seen early this year.
  • Perth – Vacancy rates in Perth remained steady for the third consecutive month.
  • Adelaide – This city remained the most competitive city for potential tenants, with its vacancy rates being the lowest among all capital cities.
  • Darwin – On a monthly basis, vacancy rates in Darwin remained steady. On an annual basis, however, vacancies remained higher.
  • Hobart – The boost in rental listings brought its rental stock to its highest level in three years.
  • Canberra – Vacancy rates in Canberra is currenty at record high of 1.8%, which was last seen in December 2019.
May-23 Apr-23 May-22 Monthly change Annual change
National 0.9% 0.8% 1.0%
Combined Capitals 0.9% 0.8% 1.1%
Combined Regionals 1.0% 0.9% 0.6%
Sydney 1.1% 1.0% 1.4%
Melbourne 0.9% 0.9% 1.8%
Brisbane 0.8% 0.7% 0.6%
Perth 0.4% 0.4% 0.6%
Adelaide 0.3% 0.4% 0.3%
Hobart 1.1% 1.1% 0.4%
Canberra 1.8% 1.7% 0.7%
Darwin 0.7% 0.7% 0.6%
Table Source: Domain


Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.