By Eleanore D. Sanchez

Average Australian rent rose by 2.2% last year for houses and 1.5% for units, reflecting strong housing demand, especially in capital cities, recent reports revealed. 

 “Vacancy rates have edged down in all capital cities. Reflecting that, asking rents have jumped in some cities, including Sydney,” SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said. “Perth continues to be the ongoing exception with asking rents still falling, as the mining downturn weighs on prices, despite a slightly lower vacancy rate.”

Further, Christopher dispelled fears of an apartment oversupply in Melbourne, saying, “If true, [it] cannot come soon enough as at present having a vacancy rate trending down below 2% is highly suggestive that landlords are in control of the market.”

“Sydney is likely to remain a landlord's market as the city’s growing population creates demand for new stock. The only area right now where we are recording sustained increases in vacancies is the Hills district," he added.

Meanwhile, SQM Research reported that year to date vacancy rates decreased to 2.3% in August.

Further, data revealed that vacancies dropped in all capital cities in August, driving rent prices upwards in most locations in the current month, specifically in Sydney and Melbourne, where vacancy rates breached the 2% level.