Residential vacancies in outer suburbs and regional areas fell sharply in July, as professionals avoid their inner-city units because of the coronavirus and the ability to work from home. The SQM Research July report showed a drop in vacancies in all capital cities except for Melbourne where it rose by 0.1 percentage point to 3%. Most capital cities have vacancy rates below 1.5%, but vacancies in the CBDs remained high: Brisbane was 13%, Sydney 13.2% and Melbourne(8.8%.

By contrast, vacancies in regional NSW’s Blue Mountains fell to 1% – its lowest level in 10 years. On the NSW Central Coast, vacancies fell to 1.1% from 2.7% in December while empty rentals on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast have fallen to 0.7%, a drop from 1.8% in December. The latest vacancy report from the REIQ shows that some Queensland towns are having their tightest rental markets on record. REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella says the latest figures show the state overall is facing the tightest rental conditions since the GFC.