While rental conditions remained tight across capital cities and regional areas, there are tell-tale signs that indicate a turning point gradually manifesting for tenants.

The national vacancy rate remained at the lowest point on record at 0.9% in September, with vacant rental listings being 48.6% lower annually and sitting at a record low, according to Domain Research.

Despite these numbers however, these two rental indicators are slowing in some areas, which signal a potential change in the horizon.

Monthly vacancy rates
Sep-22 Aug-22 Sep-21 Monthly change Annual change
National 0.9% 0.9% 1.7%
Combined Capitals 0.9% 1.0% 2.1%
Combined Regionals 0.7% 0.6% 0.6%
Sydney 1.1% 1.2% 2.5%
Melbourne 1.3% 1.3% 3.5%
Brisbane 0.6% 0.6% 1.3%
Perth 0.4% 0.4% 0.6%
Adelaide 0.3% 0.3% 0.5%
Hobart 0.5% 0.5% 0.4%
ACT 1.1% 1.0% 1.0%
Darwin 0.7% 0.6% 0.6%

The monthly movement in vacancy rates across capital cities varied — Sydney reported a decline while ACT and Darwin recorded an increase. The remaining capital cities, on the other hand, maintained their vacancy levels from August.

“All capital cities continue to operate in a landlords’ market, resulting in a highly competitive environment for prospective tenants and exacerbating the rental crisis,” Domain said.

Across regional markets, conditions remained tighter compared to overall capital cities, but vacancy rates slightly increased on a monthly and annual terms.

“This is largely due to a misalignment between supply and demand with a lower volume of available rentals driving up rents and worsening competition, emphasising the need to address this crisis that many tenants find themselves in,” Domain said.

However, the streak of stable rates and the increases in some areas could be indicating a “turning point” for tenants.

The changes in vacant rentals also provide insight as to how conditions are likely to play out in the coming months.

In fact, while the number of rental listings were still falling to its lowest point on record, the pace of decline is slowing.

Across capital cities, Brisbane, Hobart, Canberra, and Darwin posted increases in vacant rental properties over the month.

Compared to last year, Hobart, Canberra, and Darwin reported higher vacancies.

Vacant rentals also increased across regional areas, up 3% monthly and 4.1% annually.

The volume and change of vacant rentals.
Sep-22 Monthly change Annual change
National 21,525 -2.1% -48.6%
Sydney 6,355 -6.3% -54.8%
Melbourne 6,646 -2.7% -61.4%
Brisbane 1,563 3.6% -51.4%
Perth 684 -9.0% -34.6%
Adelaide 303 -6.5% -49.3%
Hobart 109 5.8% 17.2%
Canberra 409 0.5% 1.2%
Darwin 142 16.4% 15.4%
Combined Capitals 16,211 -3.7% -55.9%
Combined Regionals 5,314 3.0% 4.1%

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