Rental vacancies continue to increase across most of Sydney

The March REINSW Residential Vacancy Rate Report reveals a 0.4 per cent increase in vacancies across Sydney, from 3.2 per cent on 15 February, to 3.6 per cent on 15 March. Other key NSW reporting areas such as the Illawarra region saw a 0.2 per cent fall in vacancy rate, while the Hunter region remained steady at 1.7 per cent.

The REINSW Residential Vacancy Rate Report is based on the proportion of unlet residential dwellings to the total rent roll of REINSW member agents on the 15th of each month. Carried out monthly, the research – a survey of REINSW member agents conducted by Survey Matters – collects the total properties on agency rent rolls, the number of properties that were vacant on the 15th of the month, and the postcode in which a majority of agents’ rental properties are located. The suburb-level rates reported by agents are weighted based on the ABS 2016 Census Selected Dwelling Characteristics. The latest report, for March, is based on survey responses covering 113,100 residential rental properties.

Sydney data

Overall, Sydney experienced a 3.6 per cent vacancy rate in March, compared with 3.2 per cent in February. Inner Sydney and Outer Sydney saw a slight increase of 0.8 and 0.4 per cent, respectively, while Middle Sydney had a vacancy rate of 3.1 per cent – a 0.5 per cent drop from the previous month.

REINSW President Leanne Pilkington says: “The vacancy rate in Sydney’s Inner ring – areas such as Ashfield, Leichardt and Marrickville – increased in March due to lower demand and high supply. Sydney’s outer ring is also experiencing a similar situation. Feedback from real estate agencies in areas such as Baulkham Hills and Blacktown has been that old, dated units are harder to lease for the same price they had been getting previously, and landlords are unwilling to drop rental prices.”

“In contrast, Sydney’s middle ring is experiencing a decline in vacant properties. According to real estate agencies in areas such as Strathfield and Parramatta, landlords have been willing to reduce rents to attract tenants.”

The Hunter region
Overall vacancy rates in the Hunter region remained steady, particularly in Newcastle where there was a 2.1 per cent vacancy rate in both February and March. Other areas in the region dropped by 0.1 per cent from February, to 1.5 per cent this month.
The Illawarra region
Wollongong and surrounding areas saw a 0.2 per cent fall in rental vacancies, from 2.4 per cent on 15 February, to 2.2 per cent on 15 March.
Other regional NSW areas
The rest of NSW saw mild increases in six key areas: the Central Coast (to 2.8 per cent), Central West (to 2.0 per cent), Coffs Harbour (to 2.1 per cent), Mid-North Coast (to 2.8 per cent), Orana (to 1.8 per cent), and South Eastern (to 2.9 per cent).

Albury (0.8 per cent vacancy rate), Murrumbidgee (0.9 per cent), New England (2.2 per cent), and the South Coast regions (2.6 per cent) saw decreases this month of between 0.3 and 0.5 per cent.

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