Vacancies Hit Low, Rents to Rise

Competition for rental properties is higher than ever with the national vacancy rate now just 1.5%, but with most cities well below that level.

Renters are expected to find it even tougher when international borders re-open and international students and migrants return.

Domain figures show Hobart has the lowest vacancy rate of just 0.3%, followed by Adelaide 0.4%, Perth 0.5%, Canberra and Darwin, 0.9% and Brisbane 1.2%. Sydney has a vacancy rate of 2.3% and Melbourne 3%.

Domain chief of research and economics Nicola Powell predicts a “dramatic impact” on vacancy rates once international borders reopen. Rental demand will likely climb, reducing the already limited proportion of vacant homes and pushing prices beyond already record highs.

Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder, says renters should start preparing for higher housing costs. “The pandemic turned the rental market on its head in some areas,” he says.