Rental conditions ease for the third straight month

Rental conditions have eased slightly for the third consecutive month with the national vacancy rate reaching its highest level since mid-2023.

According to PropTrack’s latest Market Insight Report, the national vacancy rate climbed .08 percentage points in May to 1.3 per cent.

This is the first time three successive monthly increases has occurred since late 2020.

PropTrack Senior Economist, Paul Ryan, said the slightly more favourable conditions were welcome news for renters, but he warned the housing crisis was by no means over.

“While any easing in conditions will be welcomed by renters, available properties remain very scarce, with the vacancy rate at about half the levels seen before the pandemic,” he said.

“This means competition for rentals will remain strong and rents will continue to increase.”

The data showed the ACT and Sydney recorded the largest increases in vacancy rates last month, at 0.18 percentage points and 0.16 percentage points respectively.

Perth has recorded the highest quarterly increase at 0.4 per cent.

Mr Ryan said only Canberra had a higher share of available rentals than before the pandemic, with its vacancy rate rising to 1.76 per cent. 

“The easing in conditions over the past three months has been most evident in Perth, Sydney and the ACT, with Perth seeing a substantial improvement after very tough conditions recently,” he said.

“While availability remains low across all markets, Adelaide and Brisbane remain the toughest for renters, with rental vacancy rates of 1.03 per cent and 1.11 per cent, respectively.” 

Of the capital cities, only Darwin (down 0.24 per cent) and Hobart (down 0.12) recorded fewer rental properties available in May compared to April.

The regional vacancy rate also remains tight, with a 0.02 per cent increase in May to 1.26 per cent. 

The market is tightest in regional Tasmania, which has a vacancy rate of 1.11 per cent, while 

Regional WA has the highest vacancy rate at 1.57 per cent.

“We expect renters will face continued difficulty securing rentals and strong rent growth over the rest of 2024 in these markets,” Mr Ryan said.

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