Sydney’s vacancy rate soars as tenants continue exodus from inner city

Sydney’s vacancy rate soars as tenants continue exodus from inner city

9 July 2020

Continuing the trend of recent months, the REINSW Vacancy Rate Survey results for June 2020 show that COVID-19 continues to impact the residential rental market.

Vacancies in Sydney increased for the fourth consecutive month and now sit at 4.5%, up 0.4% from May and 1.5% since March.

“Sydney’s Inner Ring experienced the most significant change, rising 0.8% to 5.8%,” REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said. “Last month, vacancies in the Inner Ring hit an 18-year high at 5.1% – a result that has been exceeded this month. Looking back at more than 20 years of survey results, we’ve not seen vacancy rates this high. It really is staggering.

“The Middle Ring also increased, with a 0.6% rise to 4.6%. Sydney’s Outer Ring was alone in recording a decrease in rental vacancies, falling 0.1% to 2.6%.

“The impact of COVID-19 on the residential rental market continues to be significant and shows no sign of abating. As unemployment continues to rise and with the end date for JobKeeper and JobSeeker benefits looming, affordability is at the forefront of many tenants’ minds. It’s really no surprise that inner-city properties with higher weekly rents are being relinquished in favour of more affordable options.

“For Sydney's Inner Ring, if this trend continues, as it’s likely to for the foreseeable future, we can expect to see downward pressure on rents. While this is great news for tenants, it’s a recipe for disaster for many landlords,” he said.

Regional areas are faring better. Vacancies in the Hunter region dropped by 0.6% to sit at 1.8%, and the Illawarra region saw a 0.5% decrease to 3.1%. Other regional areas also recorded significant drops including Albury (-0.6%), Central West (-0.5%), Coffs Harbour (-0.6%), Mid-North Coast (-1.2%), Murrumbidgee (-1.2%), New England (-0.8%), Orana (-0.6%), Riverina (-1.3%) and the South East (-1.0%).

“This month’s results really do tell two very different stories, with Sydney's inner suburbs continuing to suffer while Sydney's outer suburbs and regional New South Wales appear to be largely unaffected by COVID-19 to date,” Mr McKibbin said.

Residential vacancy rate percentage

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 June 2020 report is based on survey responses covering 116,110 residential rental properties.

 

Jun - 20

May - 20

Apr- 20

Mar - 20

Feb - 20

Jan - 20

Dec - 19

Nov - 19

Oct - 19

Sep -19

Aug -19

Jul -19

SYDNEY                        

Inner

5.8%

5.0%

4.3%

2.5%

2.8%

3.1%

3.4%

2.4%

2.7%

3.1%

3.4%

3.0%

Middle

5.2%

4.6%

4.4%

3.6%

3.9%

3.6%

3.4%

3.7%

4.2%

3.0%

3.9%

4.1%

Outer

2.6%

2.7%

3.1%

3.0%

3.5%

3.3%

3.4%

3.6%

3.9%

2.7%

3.5%

3.4%

Total

4.5%

4.1%

3.8%

3.0%

3.4%

3.3%

3.4%

3.2%

3.6%

2.9%

3.6%

3.5%

HUNTER

                       

Newcastle

1.7%

2.4%

2.1%

1.6%

2.5%

2.0%

2.5%

2.6%

2.5%

1.2%

1.5%

1.6%

Other

1.9%

2.4%

1.8%

1.2%

2.0%

0.9%

1.7%

1.1%

1.4%

1.0%

1.4%

1.8%

Total

1.8%

2.4%

1.9%

1.3%

2.1%

1.2%

1.9%

1.6%

1.8%

1.0%

1.4%

1.7%

ILLAWARRA

                       

Wollongong

3.2%

3.9%

3.2%

3.5%

2.0%

2.9%

2.6%

4.3%

2.5%

2.8%

2.4%

1.6%

Other

2.9%

2.9%

4.3%

4.3%

2.3%

2.3%

2.9%

1.5%

2.1%

1.5%

2.3%

3.3%

Total

3.1%

3.6%

3.6%

3.8%

2.1%

2.7%

2.7%

2.9%

2.4%

2.2%

2.3%

2.2%

REGIONS

                       

Albury

0.6%

1.2%

1.2%

0.6%

1.6%

1.8%

1.1%

1.3%

0.9%

1.0%

1.3%

1.8%

Central Coast

2.1%

2.3%

3.0%

2.4%

3.0%

4.3%

5.1%

3.5%

4.4%

3.0%

3.4%

3.0%

Central West

1.5%

2.0%

2.0%

1.0%

1.4%

2.1%

2.2%

2.0%

1.9%

2.3%

2.3%

2.1%

Coffs Harbour

2.4%

3.0%

3.4%

3.1%

5.4%

3.3%

2.5%

3.1%

3.6%

2.9%

1.3%

3.2%

Mid-North Coast

2.0%

3.2%

2.6%

1.7%

2.5%

2.4%

2.2%

2.3%

2.1%

2.8%

2.6%

2.1%

Murrumbidgee

0.8%

2.0%

1.1%

1.4%

1.5%

1.9%

1.8%

-

0.5%

1.2%

1.0%

1.1%

New England

3.1%

3.9%

3.4%

3.0%

3.8%

4.1%

3.3%

2.4%

2.8%

2.4%

2.6%

2.6%

Northern Rivers

2.6%

1.8%

2.7%

1.7%

1.7%

2.2%

1.5%

1.3%

1.5%

1.6%

2.1%

1.9%

Orana

1.9%

2.4%

2.7%

0.7%

1.2%

2.4%

1.8%

1.8%

1.8%

1.4%

1.5%

2.5%

Riverina

1.2%

2.5%

1.8%

1.5%

1.9%

1.7%

1.2%

0.8%

1.1%

1.2%

1.8%

1.3%

South Coast

2.7%

2.0%

1.7%

4.8%

3.9%

2.7%

3.4%

2.4%

3.1%

3.1%

2.8%

2.8%

South Eastern*

0.8%

1.8%

0.7%

3.5%

2.5%

1.8%

1.2%

0.3%

0.8%

1.2%

4.1%

3.4%

 

To download the Media Release Click Here.

To view the June Survey Results Click Here.

For more information, please contact:
Jessica Husband | +61 2 8267 0537 | jhusband@reinsw.com.au


About REINSW
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 reinsw.com.au.