Australia's residential rental market reported a marginal decline in vacancy rates and a slight fall in asking rents in August, figures from SQM Research show.

The overall vacancy rate declined to 2.2% last month, down from 2.3% in July. The total number of vacancies Australia-wide is now at 75,757 vacant residential properties, a decrease of 589 over the month but up 5,310 dwellings over the past 12 months.

Sydney recorded the highest vacancy rate at 3.4%, while Hobart reported the lowest at 0.6%.

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"Residential property rental vacancy rates remained largely steady for the month of August with perhaps the exception of Perth, which continues to record a recovering rental market. While Sydney did record a slight decline, our expectation is the Sydney rental market will still fall from here," SQM Research CEO Louis Christopher said.

Sydney's vacancy rate is expected to peak at 4% by the end of this year.

In terms of asking rents, there was a slight decline of 0.4% for houses. Asking rents for units remained steady.

Brisbane remained the only capital city to record increases in weekly rents over the month for both houses (up 0.6%) and units (up 0.9%).

The table below shows how each state performed in terms of vacancy rates and asking rents: