The number of homes available to rent has more than halved from the numbers available just two years ago.

Domain’s Rental Vacancy Rate Report shows the number of vacant rental properties in capital cities dropped a further 5.4% last month to hit a new historic national low, which is 54% below what it was in May 2020.

Vacancies ranged from a critical 0.3% in Adelaide to a still low 1.6% in Melbourne. Hobart’s vacancy rate is just 0.4%, Brisbane is 0.6% and Sydney 1.4%.

RentRabbit’s Ben Pretty says many people are struggling to find somewhere to live.

“That rock-bottom vacancy rate is making it an incredible struggle for so many people at the moment,” he says. “We have one woman in Sydney who’s been living somewhere with a mite infestation and mould everywhere, but she can’t move out as she’ll be homeless.”

He says the low vacancy rate means some investors aren’t bothering to maintain their properties or are raising rents to unjustified levels.