The national residential vacancy rate fell further to a low of 2.1% in March 2019, with four of the eight capital cities recording vacancy rates between 0.4% and 1.6%, according to SQM Research.

Canberra is the only capital city to increase its vacancy rate (from 0.8% in February to 0.9% in March 2019) but continues to have the second lowest rate among the capital cities. Hobart, steady at 0.4%, remains the city with the tightest rental market. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide all experienced a 0.1% decrease in vacancy rates in March. Sydney currently has the second highest vacancy rate at 3.1%, despite improving from 3.2% in February. Darwin’s vacancy is now 3.7% as the city continues to rank the highest since it overtook Perth in September. Perth vacancies have dropped from 4.1% a year ago to 2.9% in March – and was the only city to record increases in rents for both houses and units during the month.

But in annual terms rents are rising in most cities. In addition, almost every regional area in NSW, Victoria and Queensland recorded rent rises in the past year, according to Domain.