The increase in the demand for rental properties across Australia has led to an overall rise in rents, according to SQM Research.

Overall, Australia’s residential vacancy rates declined to 1.8%, with all capital cities posting a drop in vacancy or remaining stable over the month.

Sydney and Melbourne registered the most substantial declines in vacancy rates, with Sydney dropping from 3.1% to 2.9% and Melbourne dropping from 4% to 3.7%.

“We are still seeing falling vacancies everywhere from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, the Gold Coast, right through to inland areas like the Murray Regions of NSW and South Australia to outback Northern Territory, along with Darwin, which is having the effect of boosting rents as tenants compete for rental homes,” said Louis Christopher, managing director at SQM Research.

Christopher said the lower vacancy rates have driven rents higher. Weekly housing rents across capital cities increased by 2% over the week ending 12 June.

Perth reported the highest increase in weekly house rents at 5.8% while Darwin registered the most substantial increase in unit rents at 5.9%.

“This trend is likely to remain through the second half of the year, given the fierce competition for rental accommodation in many areas,” Christopher said.

The table from SQM Research below shows the changes in vacancy rates:

Vacancy rates dropped in most capital cities, pushing asking rents up.