Perth hits record high vacancy mark

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Landlords across numerous markets in Australia should be bracing themselves for higher vacancy rates according to a respected voice in the industry.

Figures from SQM research show Australia’s national vacancy rate sat at 2.5% at the end of July, which was 0.1% higher than the national vacancy rate recorded at the end of July 2015.

Compared to June, there was no increase in the national vacancy rate over July; however the majority capital city markets did see a monthly increase in vacancies.

Over the month Perth’s vacancy rate saw the biggest increase, climbing 0.2% to 5.2%, which is a record high mark for the city.

Over July, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney and Darwin all saw 0.1% increases in their vacancy rates.

Behind Perth, Darwin has the country’s next highest vacancy rate at 3.1%.

Over July, Melbourne’s vacancy rate remained steady at 2.1%, while the only fall was recorded in Hobart where the vacancy rate dipped 0.1% to 0.8%.

In the year to July, conditions have been more even across the country, with annual increases and decreases split across the capital city markets.

Perth has seen the largest increase over the year at 1.4%, while Brisbane was home to 0.3% annual increase.

In the 12 month to July, Brisbane’s vacancy rate rose 0.2%, while Sydney’s has increased 0.1% over the year.

Canberra is home to the largest annual decrease, with its vacancy rate falling 0.8% over the past year, while both Hobart and Darwin have seen annual falls of 0.4%.

Melbourne’s vacancy rate has fallen 0.3% in the past 12 months.

Source: SQM Research

Louis Christopher, head of SQM Research, said the continued struggles in Perth are behind it’s high vacancy rate, while apartment developments in other markets will likely push up vacancy rates.

"Overall, vacancy rates remain steady for the major capital cities. Perth continues to be the ongoing exception with further increases in vacancies this month as the mining downturn continues to hit the economy hard,” Christopher said.

“Looking forward, I believe the national vacancy rate will continue to creep upwards. Melbourne may start to record higher vacancies next year under the weight of completed apartment developments; but for now Melbourne remains a landlord's market. Sydney is unlikely to record such a surge in vacancies as we believe the city's population expansion is going to absorb much of the new stock,” he said.

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