Renters are finding it even harder to secure new premises, with the number of properties available for rent at a near all-time low in August. The latest REA Group’s PropTrack Rental Listings Report reveals that new rental listings dropped by 3.9% in August, the lowest levels since December 2019 before the pandemic hit.

The fall was most substantial in regional Australia with listings down 4.7% in August while in capital cities listings dropped 1.3%. The report found regional NSW, WA and Tasmania experienced the biggest drops in listings.

REA Group director of economic research Cameron Kusher says the high number of owner occupiers buying property is contributing to the lack of rental properties. New listings in August dropped by 30% in Canberra, 17% in Melbourne, 10% in Hobart, 3.7% in Brisbane, 2.2% in Perth, and 1.1% in Adelaide, while listings increased 6.7% in Sydney and 5.4% in Adelaide.

Vacancy rates are still high in inner-city suburbs in Sydney and Melbourne which have a large proportion of units.