SQM June Vacancy Rates

Last month I noted that the 4870 postcode with about half the rentals in Cairns was the one that hadn’t yet breached a new post pandemic low. This month it has.

SQM 0621 1SQM 0621 2SQM 0621 3SQM 0621 4SQM 0621 5

Declines in the northern beaches postcodes are the most significant while the southern suburbs appear to have stabilised at very low rates. Louis Christopher:

“Rental vacancy rates have fallen in our largest capital cities. Meanwhile there was some further evidence that we have reached the high point in regional occupancy and some relief for local renters may be coming later this year, notwithstanding Sydney’s latest lockdown. Rents are now accelerating in our larger capital cities which may have ramifications for the CPI read in the coming quarters.”

Last month signs of increasing vacancy rates on the NSW north coast were noted. My watch here has been Coffs Harbour (this is a large postcode covering a high proportion of Coffs) as the largest coastal city half way between the Gold Coast and Newcastle:

SQM 0621 6

Coffs has bounced off almost zero. Consequently we should be wary of how much activity is transitory or seasonal. SQM methodology has a good reputation, is widely used, and has been generally consistent in the past with trends from other methods.

Census is less than four weeks away which is going to be interesting in the current circumstances. I have always been sceptical around some of the numbers for unoccupied residential properties in locations such as Port Douglas and Palm Cove given the seasonal timing in August.

Smaller weekender locations along the east coast driving distance from the metropolitan centres have previously had some very high unoccupied residential property levels in a mid-week winter census. Have to wait until next year for the results though.


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