Vacancy rates halt their climb

There’s good news for landlords as vacancy rates have fallen and rents have risen across Australia’s capitals.

Data from SQM Research shows the number of rental vacancies fell nationally in January, dropping sharply to 2.4% from 2.8% in December. The vacancy rate fell across all capital cities, with Canberra seeing the biggest decline. Vacancies in the city fell from 1.7% in December to 1.0% in January.

Hobart continues to have the nation’s lowest vacancy rate at just 0.7%, down from 0.8% in December. Vacancies in Perth are the highest in the nation, at 4.8%.

SQM Research said mining towns were also seeing declines in vacancies, suggesting that the housing bust following the mining slowdown may be coming to an end.

Asking rents have continued to rise at about 2% per annum. Hobart has the strongest rental market, with rents rising 6.7% for houses and 11.6% for units. Perth has seen the steepest declines in asking rents, down 7.6% for houses and 10.8% for units.

Sydney and Melbourne, meanwhile, remain strong. Asking rents in Sydney were up 4.7% for houses and 2.1% for units, while Melbourne asking rents rose 5.4% for houses and 4.1% for units.

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