Hard to predict what will happen in 2022, says Tim McKibbin. Image – Canva.
  • REINSW puts the Sydney vacancy rate at 3%; SQM at 2.6%
  • Market has been far from 'the norm' says REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin
  • Effect of high vaccinations and border reopening yet to make impact

After falling in October, the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) Vacancy Rate Survey has found that vacancies rose during November.

The 0.2% increase puts the overall Sydney vacancy rate at 3%. The Inner Ring increased to 4.4%, Middle Ring fell to 2.9% and Outer Ring remained stable at 1.8%.

The vacancy rate across Sydney has fluctuated throughout the past 12 months from 3.3% in December 2020, to a high of 4.3% in April before reaching a low of 2.6% in August.

“Data from past years has shown us that it’s the norm for vacancies to increase across Sydney heading into the Christmas and New Year break,” said REINSW CEO, Tim McKibbin.

“However, the market has been far from ‘the norm’ since April last year, experiencing a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs as landlords and tenants alike have done their best to respond to unpredictable market conditions.”

Outside Greater Sydney, Wollongong saw vacancies drop by 0.3% to 0.7%, while on the other hand available properties rose in Newcastle to 2%, an increase of 0.2%.

“Rates in the Central Coast, Central West, Coffs Harbour, New England, Northern Rivers and Orana areas all dropped in November 2021, while the Albury, Mid-North Coast, Murrumbidgee, Riverina, south Coast and South Eastern areas each experience a slight uptick in the availability of rental accommodation,” added Mr McKibbin.

“High vaccination rates, easing restrictions, and state and international border openings will undoubtedly have an impact on the vacancy rates across New South Wales and we’ll be watching the market with great interest as we head into the New Year.”

Historically high levels

Despite the relatively low vacancy rate, SQM Research data shows that while vacancy rates peaked in May 2020 at 4% and have fallen to 2.6%, this level is significantly above  levles seen since 2005.

Greater Sydney

Unsurprisingly, this correlates strongly with weekly rent listings, increasingly sharply from 2017 onwards.

Greater Sydney

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