The national residential property rental vacancy rates rose marginally to 1.7% in September, from 1.6% in August, but remains below the 2.0% level of a year ago.

New figures from SQM Research show that five of the eight capital cities continue to have vacancy rates well below 1%, while Brisbane is only slightly higher at 1.4%.

Melbourne, where the vacancy rate remained steady at 3.5% in September, is the only capital city above the industry benchmark of 3%. Sydney has dropped from 3.5% a year ago to 2.7% now, although the inner-city area is much higher.

The figures are broadly in line with those published last week by

SMQ data also shows that 70% of locations across regional Australia have vacancy rates below 1%. SQM Managing Director Louis Christopher says: “Vacancy rates remain in favour of landlords for most capital cities with the exception of Melbourne and inner Sydney.”