Inner-city Sydney bucks the trend, as vacancy rates across much of NSW drop

12 November 2021

After increasing last month, the REINSW Vacancy Rate Survey results for October 2021 show that residential rental vacancies in Sydney once again dropped, albeit only slightly.

“Decreasing 0.1% for the month, the vacancy rate for Sydney overall is now 3.0%,” REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said. “Vacancies in Sydney’s Middle and Outer Rings also decreased to 3.1% (-0.8%) and 1.8% (-0.4%) respectively.

“In contrast, vacancies in the Inner Ring increased by 0.2% to 3.9%. This is the highest the vacancy rate has been since June 2021. Many members are reporting that the residential rental market in the inner-city suburbs is suffering due to the lack of international students. It will be interesting to see the impact that the opening of international borders has in the New Year, when we hope to see university students return for the start of a year of face-to-face learning.”

Outside Sydney, vacancies dropped significantly in Wollongong to 1.0% (-1.0%), however the number of available properties rose in Newcastle to 1.8% (+0.3%).

Vacancy rates across much of regional New South Wales continue to remain extremely low.

“Rates in the Albury, Murrumbidgee, New England, Riverina, South Coast and South Eastern areas all dropped in September 2021,” Mr McKibbin said. “Coffs Harbour remained stable for the month, while the Central Coast, Central West, Mid-North Coast and Northern Rivers areas each experienced a slight uptick in the availability of rental accommodation.

“The Orana area was a standout. Made up of major localities such as Dubbo, Cobar and Mudgee, the vacancy rate increased by 0.7% for the month to be 2.0% – the highest vacancy rate for any regional area.

“The impact of increasing vaccination rates and the further easing of restrictions is only just starting to trickle through to the residential rental market. It’s a case of ‘watch this space’ for the next few months – and we will be watching with great interest.”

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 October 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

Related articles