NSW vacancy rates ease as the rental crisis continues

In a small win for NSW renters, residential vacancy rates have eased in some areas, however, there is likely more pain ahead for tenants.

The Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW) found that across Sydney, vacancy rates increased to 1.7 per cent, up from 1.5 per cent, in January.

Sydney vacancy rates are now higher than the same time last year, and the low of 1.3 per cent in November 2023.

REINSW Chief Executive Officer Tim McKibbin said unfortunately he believes the uptick is likely to be temporary. 

“Yes, there are some increases for the month, but nothing too unusual for this time of year when seasonal fluctuations inevitably play a role in the residential rental market,” Mr McKibbin said. 

“It happens every year and this month’s survey results reflect this fact.” 

Vacancies in the Inner and Outer Rings of Sydney rose to 2 per cent (up 0.2 per cent) and 1.7 per cent (up 0.5 per cent) respectively. 

While the Middle Ring tightened to 1.4 per cent, down from 1.5 per cent.

Across NSW, vacancy rates were mixed according to REINSW.

Vacancies rose in the Illawarra region to 2.4 per cent, however, the Hunter region dropped back to 1.3 per cent

Many regional areas across the state also had vacancy rates ease.

“Rates for the Coffs Harbour, Far West, Mid-North Coast, Murrumbidgee, Northern Rivers, Orana and Riverina areas all increased in January 2024,” Mr McKibbin said. 

“The Albury, Central West, New England, South Coast and South East areas decreased, while the Central Coast remained stable. 

Source: REINSW

Mr McKibbin said the ongoing level of demand was likely to mean continued pressure for renters.

“Demand for rental accommodation certainly isn’t slowing, but the number of properties in the supply pipeline is,” he said.

“The inevitable knock-on impact is fewer properties available in the rental pool. 

“There’s no doubt that this rental crisis is still far from over.”

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