The national residential vacancy rate remained steady at 2.2% in February, with 72,333 vacancies in total across the country. Capital city asking rents, meanwhile, dropped 0.2% for both houses and units over the month to the second week of March, according to the data from SQM Research.
Adelaide was the only capital city to increase its vacancy rate during the period, from 1.1% to 1.2%. This resulted in 2,197 properties available for rent in February.
On the other hand, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, and Hobart posted marginal decreases of 0.1% in vacancy rates. Melbourne's slid by 0.2% over the month to 1.7%.
Vacancy rates in Sydney and Perth were unchanged at 3.2% and 3%, respectively.
The report revealed that Hobart's vacancy rate remained the lowest of all capital cities at 0.4%. Darwin ranked the highest among all capital cities at 3.7%, followed by Sydney at 3.2%.
"The steady vacancies in February (are) largely due to a seasonal effect as students and workers moved to new rental homes for the beginning of the year. Going forward, our expectation is vacancy rates will rise in 2019, driven by some 200,000 dwellings expected to be completed this year, which is well above our estimate of underlying demand of approximately 170,000 dwellings. Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra will likely see the bulk of the rises in vacancies," said SQM Research Managing Director Louis Christopher.
Capital city asking rents declined 0.2% for both houses and units, to $559 per week for houses and $441 per week for units.
Weekly rents in Adelaide and Hobart climbed for both houses and units, with Hobart houses recording the highest weekly rental increase of 4.5% for houses and 1.8% for units.
Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, and Darwin recorded marginal decreases in both house and unit asking rents.
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