Almost one in six rental properties in Sydney's CBD (16.2%) were vacant in May.

Sydney's residential vacancy rate is now the highest in the country and the highest on record since 2005, according to SQM research, rising to 4% in May. 

There are now over 29,416 rental properties sitting empty across Sydney - the result of a decline in international students and holidaymakers with Airbnb rentals becoming available on longer-term leases. 

Melbourne's vacancy rate also increased to 3.1% in May, while Canberra jumped by 0.1% to 1.3%.

Buying an investment property or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest variable interest rates on the market for investors.

Update resultsUpdate
LenderHome LoanInterest Rate Comparison Rate* Monthly Repayment Repayment type Rate Type Offset Redraw Ongoing Fees Upfront Fees LVR Lump Sum Repayment Additional Repayments Split Loan Option TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
6.19% p.a.
6.58% p.a.
Principal & Interest
Featured 90% LVR
  • You MUST already have Solar or a documented plan to install within 90 days to be eligible for this loan
  • Available for refinance or purchase
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
6.29% p.a.
6.20% p.a.
Principal & Interest
Featured Apply In Minutes
  • A low-rate variable investment home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
6.34% p.a.
6.36% p.a.
Principal & Interest
  • $0 application fee
  • Fast turnaround times
  • Estimate your borrowing power in as little as 1 minute
Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. Some products will be marked as promoted, featured or sponsored and may appear prominently in the tables regardless of their attributes. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the product provider’s website. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.

Despite the spike in vacancy rates in Sydney and Melbourne, the national vacancy rate has actually slipped.

The national vacancy rate fell marginally from 2.6% in April to 2.5% in May. 

Adelaide (1.2%), Hobart (1.2%) and Brisbane (2.5%) dragged down the national vacancy rate.

See also: Should you find a new place to rent during COVID-19?

SQM Managing Director Louis Christopher said we may now be hitting a short-term peak in vacancies. 

"Weekly rental listings suggest a slight decline in supply for the first half of June. I think what is happening here is AirBnb property owners have now pulled back from listing long term and are now waiting this time out in the hope that the borders will be open shortly," Mr Christopher said. 

"However, with an expected 170,000 dwelling completions for this year and still no imminent opening of the international border, I still think rental vacancy rates are going to remain elevated for 2020.

"While First Home buyer grants may assist in soaking up some of the new supply, let's just remember the bulk of underlying demand growth in recent years has come from net migration. Also note that many first home buyers are tenants."

Ready, Set, Buy!

Learn everything you need to know about buying property – from choosing the right property and home loan, to the purchasing process, tips to save money and more!

With bonus Q&A sheet and Crossword!

By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy