Property market information: Residential vacancies take a dive

By the resi financial blog team, 26 March 2015

Property market information: Residential vacancies take a dive

There are any number of things to be aware of when playing the property investment game. Pursuing profit is likely top of your agenda and a sizeable part of this is the ability to find and retain tenants. Vacancy rate statistics can often provide a good guide to where rental demand is strong, so it's worth keeping up to date on the latest trends. The most recent SQM Research figures have some interesting insights in this regard. 

The figures showed that the number of unoccupied properties declined in February, dropping 0.1 percentage points to 2.2 per cent. This brought the total number of untenanted property listings down to 66,094. This is an encouraging start to the year, although there were some marked differences in location. 

While Melbourne and Canberra recorded the biggest improvements in vacancy rates - down 0.5 and 0.4 percentage points respectively over the month - the number of vacancies continued its rise in both Darwin and Perth over 2014 as a whole. Managing Director of SQM Research, Louis Christopher, said this had a lot to do with declining commodity prices in Queensland and Western Australia. He also noted that the combination of declining demand for Australian resources and slower economic growth would likely continue to have an impact on vacancy rates nationwide. 

Despite the strong results in Canberra, rents dropped 5.3 per cent for units and 4.1 per cent for houses over the year to March 12. The figures also showed spectacular declines in both Darwin and Perth, which further confirmed the slowing growth in both locations. 

"Nationally, a continuation in below-trend economic activity will likely push the unemployment rate up towards 7 per cent, which will ultimately work to keep a lid on vacancy rates and rents in other capital cities," Mr Christopher said.

Vacancy rates can show where demand for rental property is high, but when it comes to making a purchase, it's equally important to find the right finance. Get in touch with a resi loan specialist if you'd like to know more about the investment options on offer. 

Categories: Property Investment