Sydney’s vacancy rate has indicated positivity for areas hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW).

According to REINSW data, vacancy rates in Sydney’s Inner Ring suburbs fell month-over-month in May to 3.3%. They also dropped in both the Middle (4.6%) and Outer (2.5%) Ring suburbs, falling 1.2% and 0.7% respectively.

Overall, vacancies across Sydney fell in May and now sit at 3.3% – down 1.0% from April 2021.

Tim McKibbin, chief executive officer of REINSW, said the figures suggest more confidence in the economy and jobs market.

“While it is still very early days, this is a positive sign particularly for the Inner Ring which has endured a lacklustre performance during the past 12-months with no international students and tourism to boost vacancy rates,” said McKibbin. “There could be a few reasons behind it such as attractive rents, more people are slowly returning to the CBD to work or the influx of expats renting properties while looking to buy. It is good news for those with investment properties and an improvement from the peak 5.8% vacancy rate recorded back in June and October last year.”

Outside Sydney, REINSW data found that both the Newcastle and Wollongong rental markets remained steady during May. Overall vacancy rates in the Illawarra region fell slightly to 0.9% – the lowest level the region has ever recorded since April 2016.