Housing stock
The proportion of vacant Australian rental properties has fallen to the lowest level on record. Image by Paul Miller/AAP PHOTOS
  • housing and urban planning

Record low vacancy rates hit would-be renters hard

William Ton November 10, 2023

Finding an affordable rental has become a lot harder as the national rental vacancy rate plummets to a record low.

The vacancy rate sits at just 1.02 per cent after falling slightly in October, with most major capital cities following the trend according to PropTrack’s Market Insight Report.

Renters faced more competition for housing with vacancies down in both capital city and regional areas, PropTrack economist Anne Flaherty said.

“Tenants faced even tougher conditions in October, with the proportion of rental properties sitting vacant falling to the lowest level on record,” she said.

Vacancies in Sydney fell to a record low of 1.11 per cent, more than 60 per cent lower than in March 2020.

The number of available properties in Melbourne has halved compared to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Traffic is seen crossing the Captain Cook Bridge in Brisbane
 Queensland’s rental vacancy rate hit a record low in October. Image by Darren England/AAP PHOTOS 

The rental vacancy rate is at a record low in Queensland with available options in Brisbane sitting at less than one per cent.

It’s even tougher to find rentals in the west as Perth’s vacancy rate has remained below one per cent for 15 consecutive months, coming in at 0.7 per cent in October.

Hobart recorded the sharpest decline with 0.18 per cent fewer rental options, but remained the second-easiest city to find a rental.

Adelaide was one of two capital cities to buck the trend with a slight increase but retained the nation’s lowest vacancy rate.

Darwin’s vacancy rate jumped 0.68 per cent to almost 2.5 per cent.

The regional areas in each state were in lock-step with their capital cities when it came to rental vacancy movement, with South Australia and the Northern Territory the only areas to see an uptick in rental availability.

Ms Flaherty said vacancy rates have been trending downwards for more than three years with no end in sight.

She said the trend “looks likely to continue” off the back of strong population growth and a slowdown in the supply of new housing.