The latest data on residential vacancies shows that, despite a rise in the number of properties seeking tenants, the national vacancy rate remains well below 3% – the commonly accepted benchmark figure.

The current national vacancy rate, according to SQM Research, is 2.6% – compared to 2.3% a year ago. All the capital cities except Sydney still have vacancy rates below 3%. And three capital cities – Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart – have vacancies below 1.5%, despite the increase in the number of properties available for rent. Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Darwin all have vacancy rates between 2.3% and 2.8%, according to the SQM figures for April. Sydney is the city that will have the most problems with vacancies – it’s now close to 4%.

One of the strengths of real estate across Australia is that vacancy rates were so low in most capital cities and in many regional centres as we entered the virus shutdown period. This has meant that as the number of properties seeking tenants has risen, most markets have been able to absorb that extra stock and still have acceptable vacancy rates.