The level of rental vacancies among residential properties has increased across Australia, with CBDs and mining towns the most affected.


SQM Research figures show the level of rental vacancies rose over December to hit 2.6%, equating to 73,082 tenant-less properties nationwide.


This represented a 0.4% increase on November figures and a 0.3% increase on 2012 figures.


Perth led the increase as vacancies in the CBD reached a rate of 5.9% of all residential rental properties.


Western Australian mining towns Karratha and Port Hedland also recorded high vacancies rates, reaching 8% and 6.3% respectively.


Queensland towns with a strong resources industry also reached high vacancy levels, including Gladstone (11.1%), Townsville (8%) and Mackay (6.8%).


Brisbane and Canberra both saw increases of 0.6% in their CBD’s between 2012 and 2013.


Notably, Melbourne’s 3.4% vacancy rate for December marks the fifth consecutive increase in vacancies for this capital city and is now sitting above what SQM Research considers to be market equilibrium which is 3.0%.


The elevated vacancy rates are predominantly due to new supply on the market in inner city localities and can explain some of the surges in vacancies for these cities, said the report.