Melbourne investment property vacancies down

The vacancy rate for Melbourne investment properties has declined year-on-year, bucking the national trend according to figures released this week.

The November vacancy rate for investment properties in Melbourne was 2.7 per cent, SQM Research figures reveal. This compares with 3 per cent in November 2013.

Melbourne, Hobart and Canberra were the only capital cities where the vacancy rate for investment properties was lower in November 2014 than 2013, according to the SQM figures.

The research put the vacancy rate nationally at 2.2 per cent for November.

SQM reported that vacancies were following seasonal trends, with university students vacating rental accommodation at the end of the academic year one of the key ones.

While the reduced vacancy rate for Hobart was put down to improvements in the local economy, managing director of SQM Louis Christopher said the reason for the lower vacancy rate for Melbourne investment properties was harder to assess.

“This may be the result of a brief lull in construction activity, or possibly a recent surge in its local population,” he said.

Vacancy rates for investment properties in Brisbane and Sydney were steady at 2.4 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively.

Perth and Darwin continued to record alarming increases in investment property vacancies and declines in rents compared to the same time last year. This was believed to be due to both cities’ exposure to the resources and energy sectors.

According to SQM’s rent index, rents for Sydney investment properties rose 6.5 per cent for houses and 3.3 per cent for units over the past year. For Brisbane the rise was 1.4 per cent for houses and 1.2 per cent for units; in Melbourne it was 1.4 per cent for houses and 3.8 per cent for units.

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