Vacancy rate rollercoaster continues for Sydney residential rental market

12 August 2021

The REINSW Vacancy Rate Survey results for July 2021 show that residential rental vacancies in Sydney have dropped for the third consecutive month.

 “At 2.9%, a 0.2% drop for the month, the vacancy rate is now 1.4% down from April’s high of 4.3%,” REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said. “The decrease is attributable to lower vacancies in Sydney’s Inner Ring, where a 0.9% drop brought the rate to 3.1%.

 “In contrast, vacancies in the Middle Ring rose by 0.7% to be 3.9% and the rate for the Outer Ring increased by 0.1% to 2.3%.”

 Mr McKibbin said that Sydney’s residential rental market has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “The last 18 months have been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs across the metropolitan area, leaving landlords and tenants alike doing their best to respond to unpredictable market conditions,” he said. “This unpredictability will likely continue as we see the impact of this current lockdown trickle through to vacancy rate figures in the coming months.”

Outside Sydney, while vacancies remained stable in Wollongong at 1.4%, the number of available properties rose significantly in Newcastle.

 “At 4.0%, which is a 2.4% increase, Newcastle’s vacancy rate is at its highest level since September 2015,” Mr McKibbin said. “Many member agents in the area are reporting high vacancies, likely attributable to a combination of factors including high rental prices, a reduced level of inquiry and recent lockdown conditions.”

Vacancy rates across regional New South Wales continue to remain extremely tight.

 “Rates in the Albury, Coffs Harbour and New England areas dropped in July,” Mr McKibbin said. “Murrumbidgee and the Riverina remained stable for the month, while the Central Coast, Central West, Mid-North Coast, Northern Rivers, Orana, South Coast and South Eastern areas each experienced a slight uptick in the availability of rental accommodation.

Mr McKibbin added that property prices being at an all-time high across many metropolitan and regional areas is only adding pressure to the residential rental market.

 “Increases in median prices are encouraging many landlords to sell their investment properties and realise the gains, adding to rental stock shortage,” he said.

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 ABS Census 2016 Dwelling Characteristics. The March 2021 report is based on survey responses covering 113,568 residential rental properties.

To download the Media Release Click Here.

To view the July Survey Results Click Here.

For more information, please contact:
Media Officer | 0423 724080 | [email protected]

The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) is the peak industry body for real estate and property professionals in NSW. It represents more than 2000 agencies across residential sales, property management, commercial, strata management, buyers’ agency, agency services and auctioneering. Established in 1910, REINSW works to improve the standards, professionalism and expertise of its members to continually evolve and innovate the industry. It lobbies the government and industry on behalf of members, develops new products and services to benefit agencies and professionals, and offer training and ongoing professional development. For more information, visit

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