The national residential vacancy rate was 2.2% in July this year, slightly lower compared to the vacancy rate in July 2017.

However, over the last 12 months, changes were noted in Brisbane where rates have fallen from 3.6% to 2.9% and Perth, which saw vacancies drop from 5.2% to 4.0%. Modest reductions were recorded in Canberra and Adelaide, shows data from SQM.

Conversely, the vacancy rate in Sydney has risen to 2.8%, the highest level since SQM started recording the data in 2005, and up from 1.9% a year ago.

The rise in Sydney vacancies is mirrored by a fall in rents. Despite a fall of 3.1% over the last year, the asking rent for houses is the highest nationwide at $707. New unit stock and population growth are two driving factors behind the changes in Sydney.

Hobart’s vacancy rate of 0.7% was up slightly from 0.5% a year ago. The ongoing tight rental market in Hobart has seen the median house rent increase by 8.4% to $400 and the median unit rent rise 10.2% to $360 since July 2017.