Renters in Australia’s biggest cities could find it hard to get a good deal with the number of empty properties falling, but some neighbourhoods still offer tenants more choice.

Fewer than two in every 100 rental properties (1.7%) nationwide are empty, the latest data from Domain shows, but vacancy rates are higher in Sydney and Melbourne.

Vacancy rates in all the capital cities fell or held steady last month, says Domain analyst Nicola Powell, with “extraordinarily tight” conditions in the smaller capitals making it harder for tenants to secure a good deal – and pushing the national vacancy rate to its lowest level since February 2020.

Vacancy rates in Brisbane (1.3%), Adelaide (0.6%) and Darwin (0.5%) are at their lowest level since the Domain data series began in 2017, while Canberra and Perth – both at 0.8% – are close to multi-year lows.

Tenants in Melbourne and Sydney have greater choice when it comes to finding a rental, with 3.8% and 2.7% of properties left vacant in May.