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Property update: Rental vacancies continue to rise…1-in-6 apartments vacant in inner Sydney

- June 23, 2020 2 MIN READ

SQM Research has revealed the national residential rental vacancy rate has recorded a minor decrease over the month from 2.6 per cent in April to 2.5 per cent in May.


The largest rental markets of Sydney and Melbourne recorded rises in rental vacancies.  Sydney rose to 4 per cent, making it the highest vacancy rate in the country. Melbourne’s vacancy rate had the highest percentage increase of 0.3 per cent to 3.1 per cent.   Adelaide and Hobart both have the lowest vacancy rate at 1.2 per cent.

CityMay 2019 VacanciesMay 2019
Vacancy Rate
April 2020 VacanciesApril 2020
Vacancy Rate
May 2020 VacanciesMay 2020
Vacancy Rate


SQM’s calculations of vacancies are based on online rental listings that have been advertised for three weeks or more compared to the total number of established rental properties. SQM considers this to be a superior methodology compared to using a potentially incomplete sample of agency surveys or merely relying on raw online listings advertised. Please go to our Methodology page for more information on how SQM’s vacancies are compiled.

Among the capital city CBD locations, Sydney CBD continues to blow out, now 16.2 per cent in May… up from 13.8 per cent in April.  Melbourne and Brisbane CBD are also up… 9.3 per cent and 13.3 per cent vacancy rates in May respectively. Melbourne Southbank has risen to 16.8 per cent and Sydney’s Palm Beach is now 16.7 per cent.

Capital City CBD Vacancy Rates:

PostcodeSuburbMay 2020

Vacancy Rate

May 2019 Vacancy Rate
2000Sydney CBD16.2%8.1%
4000Brisbane CBD13.3%4.5%
3000Melbourne CBD9.3%2.2%
5000Adelaide CBD7.8%2.6%
2601Canberra CBD7.7%3.5%
6000Perth CBD6.0%6.0%
0800Darwin CBD5.0%6.3%
7000Hobart CBD2.7%0.9%