The vacancy rate is slowly increasing across Sydney. Image – Canva.
  • Rental vacancy rate in Sydney is now 4%
  • Most regional areas have seen lower vacancy rates
  • Survey responses covers 113,568 residential rental property transactions

The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) has released its March 2021 Vacancy Rate Survey results which show rental vacancies in Sydney are rising once again.

This month’s report is based on survey responses covering 113,568 residential rental properties across the state.

Last month the rate in Sydney overall rose to 4% – an increase of 0.9% compared to the 3.1% rate in February, but still below the 5% rate seen in July 2020.

This is the highest level of vacancies recorded in Sydney since October 2020. More specifically, Sydney’s Inner Ring saw its vacancy rate increase to 4.5%, representing an 0.8% increase. The Middle Ring rose by 1.5% to 65.8% with the Outer Ring by 0.6% to 2.5%.

REINSW CEO, Tim McKibbin, who last month labelled the rental market as “unpredictable” said that many REINSW members have reported the Sydney residential rental market has slowed down.

“Property managers are telling us that there are fewer properties coming onto the market and those that do are taking longer to rent.

“Older properties in need of upgrading are problematic, as tenants are becoming more and more discerning about where they choose to live.”

Tim McKibbin, REINSW CEO

Regional New South Wales, however, has encountered the opposite.

Newcastle and Wollongong both saw substantial decreases in their vacancies rates. Wollongong saw a 0.6% drop to 1.6% while Newcastle declined by 1.2% to a rate of just 0.7%.

This tightening is in part caused by Sydneysiders swapping city life for a rural setting, according to Mr McKibbin.

“Feedback from our members in these areas indicates that the exodus of tenants from Sydney is continuing, with people seeking more affordable options further afield,”

Across the rest of regional New South Wales rates continue to remain extremely tight.

Central West, Mid-North Coast, Northern Rivers, Orana, Riverina and South East all dropped in March. Albury and Murrumbridgee remained stable. Central Coast, Coffs Harbour, New England and the South Coast all bucked the trend by recording a slight increase in the availability of rental accommodation.

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