Vacancy rates all about Houses

SQM vacancy rates for October with commentary from Louis Christopher:

Rental vacancy rates continue to remain elevated in our larger capital cities. While regional locations are still recording near zero rental vacancies. I believe the ongoing phenomenon, which started on the outset of Covid-19 lockdowns will in part reverse out once Coronavirus is behind us. But we are not there yet and there is also a large possibility that there will only be a part reversal as I believe many have used Coronavirus as a catalyst for a longer-term lifestyle change.

This is why we need to be cautious about local media reports on tighter vacancy rates in Cairns because I can’t find anything in the data that would indicate Cairns is outperforming other regions. If anything maybe the opposite and what continues to show up is a distinct divide between houses and units. Cairns has a far higher proportion of units in the rental stock relative to other regional Queensland locations outside SEQ, as does Port Douglas:

SQM 102020 1

My expectation would have been that Port Douglas would be a winner from some lifestyle trends we are seeing but this isn’t showing up in rental vacancy rates. SQM listings data could provide a clue:

SQM 102020 2

The SQM weekly rent listings growth, which are not equivalent to vacancies. are almost all units. Meanwhile on the Mackay rollercoaster the vacancy rate is now down to 0.5%:

SQM 102020 3

The vacancy rate in unit rich Cairns 4870 is at 1.4%, and 2.1% in Beaches 4879. While out in the residential southern suburbs vacancies in 4869 are now close to zero:

SQM 102020 4


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