The total number of rental vacancies Australia-wide currently stands at 32,948 residential properties, a decrease of over 3,500 properties compared to July.

Sydney’s vacancy rate fell to a decade low of 1.3%, while Melbourne hit its lowest vacancy rate in four years at 1.4%. 

Meanwhile, Queensland held steady at a low 0.7% with only 2,382 residential properties up for rent. 

With the exception of Darwin, all other capital cities recorded falls in vacancies over August. 

City July 2022 vacancy rate August 2022 vacancy rate
Sydney 1.5% 1.3%
Melbourne 1.6% 1.4%
Brisbane 0.7% 0.7%
Perth 0.6% 0.4%
Adelaide 0.4% 0.3%
Canberra 0.9% 0.9%
Darwin 0.6% 0.6%
Hobart 0.6% 0.5%
National 1.0% 0.9%

Source: SQM Research

SQM Managing Director Louis Christopher said the forecast for September’s national vacancy rate will likely follow the same trajectory.

“The national housing rental crisis has further deteriorated to unprecedented levels,” Mr Christopher said.

“There has been a sustained lack of rental properties over the past six months and all cities and regions are now experiencing rental accommodation shortfalls.

“Rental listings thus far recorded in September would suggest another fall in rental vacancy rates for the current month.”

Penny Carr, CEO of Tenants Queensland, explained some of the solutions that may ease the current rental crisis.

“Tenancy law reform is a very important part of making a stable and secure rental market,” Ms Carr told Savings.com.au in August.

“More social housing, a register of landlords, and better regulation of the short term rental market is also needed.”

One more nail in the coffin for renters as asking rents increase

SQM data also revealed capital city asking rents rose by 2.6% over the past 30 days to 13 September 2022.

The current 12-month rise in capital city asking rents sits at 20.1%.

The national median weekly asking rent for a dwelling is $525 a week. 

Mr Christopher said the decline in available rental properties will likely push rents higher over the coming months.

“All capital cities are recording double digit percentage rental increases over the past 12 months,” he said.

While Sydney recorded the highest weekly asking rent for a house at $845 a week, Adelaide units offer the best rental affordability of all capital cities at $376 a week.

Census data reveals national median personal income was $805 per week. This includes those who are working full-time, part-time, and the unemployed and retired.

Rent stress is when more than 30% of income goes towards paying rent.


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