Rental vacancies fall
Finding a rental property is getting tougher. Figures from the Domain Group show that January’s vacancy rates in the capital cities fell, largely due to the holidays. The national rate for houses available to rent fell to 1.9 per cent with units at 2.8 per cent; the combined rate was 2.2 per cent, down from 2.4 per cent in December. The only capital where the rate did not fall was Perth which held steady. For those looking for houses the rates are tighter than for units but supply is an issue across the board. The Domain Group’s Dr Andrew Wilson says that the lower interest rates should mean more investors buying property for the rental market although that won’t have an impact on vacancy rates in the short term. The lack of availability is likely to mean higher rents in many areas.
Source: The Domain Group
Why the rate cut Mr Stevens?
The governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia Glenn Stevens is likely to face questions about the interest rate cut and the effect it may have on the housing market when he makes his regular appearance before MPs. The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics is expected to want clarification as to why the RBA decided to cut interest rates last month in a move that was ultimately a surprise. As well as seeking assurances that the governor is not expecting a surge in house prices there will be questions about the wider economy especially unemployment.
WA housing land empty while thousands wait for homes
The issue of affordable housing will be exacerbated by news that Western Australia has almost 500 blocks of public housing land standing empty while 41,000 wait for a state-owned property. Some of the land has been vacant for two decades. Greg Cash from the WA Department of Housing says that the vacant land amounts to just 1 per cent of its entire public housing stock and that the block may be vacant for a number of reasons.
REIA National Award finalists announced
The Real Estate Institute of Australia has announced the finalists for this year’s National Awards for Excellence. With 106 entrants contending for 16 awards the competition is high and REIA CEO Amanda Lynch says the awards cover the whole industry: “The award categories cover all aspects of the real estate sector from residential to commercial agencies as well as business brokers, buyer’s agents, innovation and communications.” The awards take place in Perth on the 12th
March and finalists can be seen on the REIA website.
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