Australia’s rental market loosened slightly in April as vacancy rates rise for the first time this year.  

According to SQM Research, the national vacancy rate increased to 1.1% over the month, with several capital cities recording higher vacancy levels from March.  

Rental conditions somewhat eased in Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin, and Hobart as they hit higher vacancy rates during the month.  

Meanwhile, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane maintained their vacancy rates but recorded a slight increase in the total number of available properties up for rent. 

Overall, the total number of rental vacancies across the country is at 39,616 - higher than the 36,868 vacancies in March but substantially lower than the 66,424 vacancies recorded during the same month last year. 

SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said these numbers indicate that rental conditions have improved slightly for tenants.  

“Our weekly rental listings for May suggest another slight easing — potentially more property owners are responding to the tight rental market and are looking to lease their properties once again after taking their investment property off the market during the bleakest periods of COVID,” he said. 

Mr Christopher said while it might not seem that the worst is over for the rental market, it does look that it is closer to that point. 

“Clearly landlords remain confident as they lifted their asking rents by another 1.4% over the past 30 days,” he said. 

On an annual basis, rents across capital cities increased by 13.8%, driven by the rental gains of 15.3% for houses and 13.1% for units.  

The table below shows the rent index over the week ending 12 May 2022:


Weekly Housing Rents 

Weekly Unit Rents 


792.2 (+19.4%) 

511.4 (+12.9%) 


554.6 (+9.4%) 

418.5 (+15.5%) 


594.8 (+20.9%) 

428.5 (+10.6%) 


571.8 (+9.6%) 

432.1 (+9.5%) 


523.1 (+19.8%) 

363.3 (+8.8) 


762.4 (+10.4%) 

553.2 (+12.3%) 


689.4 (+15.5%) 

465.7 (+9.4%) 


525.3 (+12.4) 

443.5 (+9.7%) 


581.0 (+14.4%) 

442.0 (+12.2%) 


Photo by  @hiveboxx on Unsplash