New figures released by SQM Research this week reveal that the number of national residential vacancies rose slightly in November, with increases in most cities and 78,629 rental homes available. The national vacancy rate in November was 2.5%, up from 2.3% in October 2016.

The vacancy rate increased the most in Brisbane, where it rose to 3.3% in November, up slightly from 3.0% in October 2016. Sydney and Melbourne also recorded vacancy rate rises of 1.9% and 2.1% respectively, up slightly over the month. Moreover, the year-on-year results reveal that the national vacancy rate was slightly higher.

Hobart recorded the lowest vacancy rate of just 0.6%, though it was up slightly from October 2016, when it was 0.5%.

The vacancy rate dropped in Adelaide, bucking the nationwide trend.

Asking rents

Rents eased slightly in Sydney over the month to December 12, where asking rents for houses sat at $736 a week and $509 for units. Meanwhile, asking house rents rose in Canberra by 2.7% to $540 a week and $412 for units with a vacancy rate of 1.2%.

“The national vacancy rate has risen, which is not uncommon in November as the year winds up. This has taken pressure off rents in Sydney, though it is still the nation’s most expensive city for tenants,” said Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM Research.

“Asking rents too have slipped back in Perth with the continued effects of the mining downturn. In Brisbane, the vacancy rate has continued to rise in November following a rise in October, and with more unit supply coming onto the market in 2017, the vacancy rate could move even higher in 2017, taking further pressure off rents.”

Hobart continues to offer the most affordable house rents at $352 for a house and $304 for a unit. Adelaide is the next most affordable city, with rents for houses at $366 and $288 for units a week.

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