The rental market across Australia’s capital cities and regional areas remained competitive in August, with the overall vacancy rate maintaining its level last month, its lowest on record.

Figures from Domain Research showed that the national rental vacancy rate was at 0.9% in August, maintaining the level recorded in July. This recent vacancy reading was significantly down from last year’s 1.7%

Most capital cities maintained their vacancy rates from July or reported a slight decline except Adelaide and Canberra, which posted marginal gains but remained in a tight rental environment.

Monthly vacancy rates

Aug-22 Jul-22 Aug-21 Monthly change Annual change
National 0.9% 0.9% 1.7%
Combined Capitals 1.0% 1.0% 2.2%
Combined Regionals 0.6% 0.6% 0.7%
Sydney 1.2% 1.3% 2.5%
Melbourne 1.3% 1.4% 3.6%
Brisbane 0.6% 0.6% 1.3%
Perth 0.4% 0.5% 0.7%
Adelaide 0.3% 0.2% 0.6%
Hobart 0.5% 0.5% 0.4%
Canberra 1.0% 0.9% 1.0%
Darwin 0.6% 0.6% 0.7%

On a national level, vacant rental listings declined 48.5% annually — this indicates that Australia remains a landlords’ market, especially with the number of rental listings falling to their lowest point on record.

Over the month, there were 21,990 vacant rentals across Australia, 4% lower than last month.

On a monthly basis, Perth reported the biggest decline in the volume of vacant rentals.

Compared to last year, Melbourne had the most significant decline at 61.5%.

The volume and change of vacant rentals

Aug-22 Monthly change Annual change
National 21,990 -4.0% -48.5%
Sydney 6,783 -7.8% -51.2%
Melbourne 6,833 -4.2% -61.5%
Brisbane 1,509 -0.9% -52.5%
Perth 752 -14.8% -35.0%
Adelaide 324 5.2% -52.8%
Hobart 103 -4.6% 2.0%
Canberra 407 11.5% -4.2%
Darwin 122 6.1% -10.3%
Combined Capitals 16,833 -5.4% -54.9%
Combined Regionals 5,157 0.8% -4.6%

The competitive nature of the rental market would likely see more tenants struggle to find a home within their budgets with further rises to asking rents.

According to Domain, the supply and demand issues highlight the need to address the rental crisis, especially with the expected return of overseas migrants and international students that may further put pressure on demand.

“It is expected that rental conditions will stabilise with the broader slowdown in the housing market, cooler purchasing conditions, and the introduction of new first-home buyer incentives helping current tenants eventually transition to home ownership and therefore remove an element of rental demand,” Domain said.

Photo by TierraMallorca from Pixabay