Vacancy rates are below 3% in all capital cities for the first time in years following recent drops in Sydney and Darwin. Vacancies are tight also in most regional centres across the nation. The national residential rental vacancy rate declined from 2.1% in January to 2.0% in February, shows the latest research from SQM Research.

Most states recorded declines with the exception of Hobart, which recorded an increase but still remains the city with the lowest vacancy rate (0.9%).
Sydney has the highest vacancy rate at 2.9%, followed by Darwin (2.7%), Brisbane (2.2%), Perth (2.0%) and Melbourne (1.9%), while Adelaide and Canberra are both 1.0%. The change shows a notable improvement in the last 12 months. As at February 2019, three cities had vacancy rates above the benchmark of 3%: a year ago Darwin was 3.7%, Sydney 3.2% and Perth 3.0%. February marks the start of the new year in the property industry and provides a clear picture of the rental market. The decline in vacancy rates reflects an increase in rental demand, a decline in dwelling completions and the ongoing increase in population.