Sydney’s vacancy rate on rise again, as regional areas tighten to house metropolitan exodus

On the heels of a slight turnaround last month, the REINSW Vacancy Rate Survey results for September 2020 show that vacancies in Sydney are once again on the rise.

Vacancies in Sydney overall increased by 0.4% and now sit at 4.1%. The Inner and Middle Rings both hit 5.5%, up 0.8% and 0.9% respectively. The Outer Ring bucked the trend and dropped 0.3% to 2.4%.

“Many REINSW members are reporting that the rental market has slowed again across much of Sydney,” REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said. “Property managers are telling us that there are fewer properties coming onto the market and those that do are taking longer to rent. Older properties in need of upgrading are particularly problematic, as tenants become more picky about where they choose to live.”

Newcastle followed the trend in Sydney, with vacancies rising to 1.5% (up 0.3%) in September after a small drop last month. However, vacancies in Wollongong tightened, falling to 2.1% (down 0.5%).

“Vacancies across much of regional New South Wales remain extremely tight,” Mr McKibbin said. “Albury and Coffs Harbour were the only areas to record an increase in vacancies over the last month.

“Feedback from our members in regional areas indicates that the exodus of tenants from Sydney is continuing, with people seeking out more affordable options further afield from the main metropolitan hubs.

“Tenants are seizing the opportunity to secure a rental property that suits both their budget and desired lifestyle.

“This month’s results show that COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact across the whole of New South Wales and it’s unlikely that things will settle for a while yet.”

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 September 2020 report is based on survey responses covering 120,486 residential rental properties.

Sep-20

Aug-20

Jul-20

Jun-20

May-20

Apr-20

Mar-20

Feb-20

Jan-20

Dec-19

Nov-19

Oct-19

SYDNEY

Inner

5.5%

4.7%

5.3%

5.8%

5.0%

4.3%

2.5%

2.8%

3.1%

3.4%

2.4%

2.7%

Middle

5.5%

4.6%

5.4%

5.2%

4.6%

4.4%

3.6%

3.9%

3.6%

3.4%

3.7%

4.2%

Outer

2.1%

2.4%

4.3%

2.6%

2.7%

3.1%

3.0%

3.5%

3.3%

3.4%

3.6%

3.9%

Total

4.1%

3.7%

5.0%

4.5%

4.1%

3.8%

3.0%

3.4%

3.3%

3.4%

3.2%

3.6%

HUNTER

Newcastle

1.5%

1.2%

1.3%

1.7%

2.4%

2.1%

1.6%

2.5%

2.0%

2.5%

2.6%

2.5%

Other

0.9%

0.8%

1.3%

1.9%

2.4%

1.8%

1.2%

2.0%

0.9%

1.7%

1.1%

1.4%

Total

1.1%

0.9%

1.3%

1.8%

2.4%

1.9%

1.3%

2.1%

1.2%

1.9%

1.6%

1.8%

ILLAWARRA

Wollongong

2.1%

2.6%

2.9%

3.2%

3.9%

3.2%

3.5%

2.0%

2.9%

2.6%

4.3%

2.5%

Other

0.7%

1.1%

2.6%

2.9%

2.9%

4.3%

4.3%

2.3%

2.3%

2.9%

1.5%

2.1%

Total

1.4%

2.0%

2.8%

3.1%

3.6%

3.6%

3.8%

2.1%

2.7%

2.7%

2.9%

2.4%

REGIONS

Albury

0.8%

0.4%

1.1%

0.6%

1.2%

1.2%

0.6%

1.6%

1.8%

1.1%

1.3%

0.9%

Central Coast

0.7%

2.0%

1.5%

2.1%

2.3%

3.0%

2.4%

3.0%

4.3%

5.1%

3.5%

4.4%

Central West

0.4%

0.6%

1.1%

1.5%

2.0%

2.0%

1.0%

1.4%

2.1%

2.2%

2.0%

1.9%

Coffs Harbour

0.9%

0.8%

2.1%

2.4%

3.0%

3.4%

3.1%

5.4%

3.3%

2.5%

3.1%

3.6%

Mid-North Coast

0.8%

1.1%

1.2%

2.0%

3.2%

2.6%

1.7%

2.5%

2.4%

2.2%

2.3%

2.1%

Murrumbidgee

0.6%

0.7%

0.9%

0.8%

2.0%

1.1%

1.4%

1.5%

1.9%

1.8%

0.5%

New England

1.3%

1.6%

2.8%

3.1%

3.9%

3.4%

3.0%

3.8%

4.1%

3.3%

2.4%

2.8%

Northern Rivers

0.9%

1.5%

1.1%

2.6%

1.8%

2.7%

1.7%

1.7%

2.2%

1.5%

1.3%

1.5%

Orana

0.6%

1.5%

1.0%

1.9%

2.4%

2.7%

0.7%

1.2%

2.4%

1.8%

1.8%

1.8%

Riverina

0.8%

0.9%

0.6%

1.2%

2.5%

1.8%

1.5%

1.9%

1.7%

1.2%

0.8%

1.1%

South Coast

0.7%

0.9%

1.4%

2.7%

2.0%

1.7%

4.8%

3.9%

2.7%

3.4%

2.4%

3.1%

South Eastern

0.8%

0.8%

0.8%

1.8%

0.7%

3.5%

2.5%

1.8%

1.2%

0.3%

0.8%

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