Property markets seems to have opened up new opportunities for tenants and buyers, but the markets remain very competitive particularly in the rental space.

SQM Research’s latest report show a slight increase in rental vacancy rates across Australia to 1.1% in March, improving from the 1% recorded in February.

Over the same month last year, the vacancy rate was at 1.2%.

While vacancy rates in Sydney and Melbourne remained steady, their CBDs reported increases over the month.

Vacancies also went up in Brisbane, Perth, and Hobart.

Across regional markets, the increase in vacancy rates were more apparent — New South Wales’ North Coast, Blue Mountains, and Gold Coast Main were standouts.

SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said the rental crisis seemed to have already peaked in Australia’s regions, with an easing in rental vacancy rates and rents across many smaller townships and coastal locations.

“This peak is also extending to some of our smaller capital cities such as Hobart, where rental vacancy rates rose back over 1% and rents are now down by 1.8% for the past 30 days,” he said.

The same, however, cannot be said in the Sydney and Melbourne — while vacancy rates in their CBDs increased, the overall conditions still do not support healthy competition among tenants.

“The rental crisis was driven by rampant population growth, a slowdown in the respective construction pipeline and a return to the city office move from the regions,” he said.


Sellers slowly returning

Over the sales market, sellers are starting to return, boosting new sales listings in March by 10.5%.

According to PropTrack, activity picked up in line with the busiest month in the autumn selling season.

Adelaide, Perth, and Sydney drove the overall increase in new listings in March.

PropTrack economist Angus Moore said while there is improvement, the current activity in the market was not able to match the pace last year.

“With the peak of the autumn selling season now behind us, we expect market activity will ease over the next few months, as it usually does after Easter and into the quieter winter period,” he said.

“While selling conditions are softer than a year ago, and market activity has slowed, conditions have improved from late 2022 and the fundamental long-term drivers of demand for housing remain solid.”



Photo by kanchanachitkhamma from Canva.