Sydney’s vacancy rate has fallen to a nine-year low in January 2023, showing further indication of the city’s rental crisis.

Over the month, Sydney’s vacancy rate dropped to 1.5%, the lowest level since November 2013.

Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) Tim McKibbin said this was driven by an all-time high demand for rental accommodation across the city.

“Many simply have no available properties on their rent rolls and others that do are reporting that properties are being snapped up immediately,” he said.

The substantial drop in Sydney’s inner-city region drove the overall decline — the region saw its vacancy rate fall from 2.5% in December to 1.7% in January.

This has offset the slight increase in Sydney’s middle-ring (1.0% to 1.2%) and outer-ring (1.5% to 1.6%) regions.

“REINSW members across New South Wales are telling us that they’ve never experienced a rental market like this — there are so many tenants who are choosing to remain in their current rental property, even in circumstances where the property no longer suits their needs,” Mr McKibbin said.

“Why? Because they see it as a better option than braving the current fight to secure a new rental property.”

Outside Sydney, vacancy rates rose slightly for the Hunter region, but dropped across the Illawarra.

Among regional markets, Albury, Central Coast, Coffs Harbour, Mid-North Coast, Murrumbidgee, Northern Rivers, and Orana areas all recorded drops in vacancy rates.

It is interesting to mention that of all the regional markets, Albury and Mid-North Coast had the lowest vacancy rates, hitting sub-1% levels.

Mr McKibbin said many factors show that the crisis still has no end in sight, including the all-time low supply of rental homes, rising weekly rents, and surging living costs.

“None of these things are showing any signs of getting better, in fact, they’re getting wors,” he said.

“All stakeholders agree that increased investment in the sector is the only solution, but the current strategy is to constantly erode the rights of landlords — something has to change.”

Photo by Simon on Pixabay.