The vacancy rate for residential properties within 4km of the Melbourne CBD has dropped to a record all-time low of 0.3%, according to the April Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) rental report.

REIV CEO Enzo Raimondo said the report highlights what most prospective tenants already know - that it's "virtually impossible" to find a residential property to lease in the inner city.

"People looking to secure a rental property in suburbs such as Carlton, Docklands, Southbank, Fitzroy and Richmond have little choice but to look further out from the CBD," he said.

"The state of the market is continuing to place significant pressure on prospective tenants. As a community we urgently need more rental properties, particularly in the inner city."

The vacancy rate in Victoria's key regional centres has also contracted further, with the Geelong region vacancy rate dropping from 1.1% in March to 0.7% in April, and the Bendigo region rate dropping from 2.7% to 2.5%. In Ballarat, the vacancy rate is now 0.8%, down from 1.2% last month.

                                                           Apr 2008 Mar 2008 Feb 2008 Apr 2007
Melbourne        
Inner (0–4km) 0.3 0.6 0.5 1.3
Inner (4–10km) 1.6 0.9 1.0 1.0
Inner total 0.9 0.8 0.8 1.1
Middle 1.0 1.2 1.0 1.6
Outer 1.1 0.9 1.0 1.4
Melbourne total 1.0 0.9 0.9 1.4
GEELONG, REGION & BARWON 0.7 1.1 1.6 1.5
BENDIGO & LODDON 2.5 2.7 2.3 2.4

BALLARAT & CENTRAL
HIGHLANDS 

0.8 1.2 1.1 2.0
REGIONAL VICTORIA TOTAL 1.9 2.5 2.1 2.8
         
VICTORIA TOTAL 1.2 1.4 1.3 1.8
         

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