In a surprising turn for the rental market, vacancies in Middle and Outer Sydney have risen a considerable 1.2% in the month of October. The rise in vacancies was also mirrored throughout the Hunter region and Illawarra, which both saw a jump in the number of unlet properties. In contrast, vacancies in Inner Sydney have dropped for the third straight month, pointing to continued demand for inner-city living.
“Feedback from Sydney real estate agents is they’re noticing less people coming to rental home opens,” says REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin.
“In September, some agencies reported renting their highest number of properties in years and are now finding the market has slowed.”
Mr McKibbin says agents have also reported oversupply and rental prices as contributing to the rising rates.
“We are hearing the term oversupply in Sydney, as well Albury and the Central Coast.
“In the Illawarra and Hunter, many agencies say they are having to drop rents in order to attract tenants.”
The total rate of vacancies in Sydney across the month of October was 3.6%, a rise of 0.7% on September. Inner Sydney was the only area which saw a decrease in rates, down 0.4% to 2.7%, a low not seen since November last year. Vacancies in Middle Sydney rose to 4.2% from 3.0%, while Outer Sydney is sitting at 3.9% up from 2.7%.
Beachside living is proving to be popular as we head into the warmer months, with vacancies low in Clovelly, Coogee, Balmoral and Bondi. North Sydney has also experienced a shift, following a high last month of 6%. Vacancies there have halved, with local real estate agents saying they have seen an uptake in enquiries.
Mascot, Darling Point, Double Bay, Balgowlah, Mona Vale and Auburn have returned some of the highest vacancy rates, all in excess of 5%.
Vacancies in the Hunter region rose 0.8% for the month of October, from 1.0% to 1.8%. Newcastle experienced a significant jump of 1.3% to 2.5%, the highest rate for the area since January this year. Other parts of Newcastle also rose by 0.4% to 1.4%.
Overall, vacancies in the Illawarra rose by 0.2% to 2.4%. This was due to most areas in the region reporting an overall rise of 0.6%, however Wollongong bucked the trend, dropping 0.3% to 2.5% following September’s high of 2.8%.
The other regions
The Central Coast experienced a major shift, with a 1.4% rise in unlet dwellings. Local agents are reporting an increased supply in available housing, which is pushing downward pressure on rents. Coffs Harbour also saw a jump in vacancies, up 0.7% on September. In contrast, Murrumbidgee, the Mid-North Coast, Central West and South Eastern Region all saw a dive in rates.
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 August report is based on survey responses covering 107,020 residential rental properties.