The vacancy rate in regional Victoria remained relatively stable in March 2014 at 2.6 per cent but has declined considerably over the past few months falling from a peak of 3.5 per cent in August 2013.
This month’s decrease was due to declines in all towns except Bendigo and East Gippsland & Wellington Shire. Geelong reported a decrease from 4.2 per cent to four per cent while Ballarat also reported a decrease from 2.2 per cent to 2.1 per cent in March.
In regional Victoria, the median rent for houses decreased by 3.3 per cent over the month to $290 per week with declines in all three regional centres: Geelong fell by 5.9 per cent; Ballarat fell by 2.9 per cent; and Bendigo decreased by 1.7 per cent. The median rent for units in regional Victoria also fell by 4.1 per cent over the month to $230 per week.
The vacancy rate in Melbourne decreased to 2.8 per cent in March from 2.9 per cent in the previous month. It is now at the lowest level since October 2012 with declines in all sub-regions, particularly the inner suburbs.
The vacancy rate for the inner suburbs declined to three per cent from 3.2 per cent in the previous month and is at the lowest level since December 2012. It still has the highest vacancy rate of the three subregions especially within the 0-4km radius with a vacancy rate of 3.8 per cent. The outer suburbs reported a decrease to 1.9 per cent from two per cent in the previous month and remain the tightest sub-market in Melbourne.
The median weekly rent for houses in Melbourne decreased by 1.3 per cent to $395 in March 2014 – thesame as this time last year. However there was rental growth for the inner suburbs which increased by 1.5 per cent over the month to $551 per week. Rental growth for houses over the past 12 months has been strongest in the inner suburbs which grew by 3.9 per cent, followed by 2.9 per cent in the outer suburbs. Median house rents in the middle suburbs declined by 3.8 per cent for houses.
The median weekly rent for units in Melbourne increased by 0.5 per cent to $390 in March 2014 with growth of 2.4 per cent in the inner suburbs and declines in the middle and outer suburbs. Rental growth for units has outpaced houses over the past 12 months having increased by 5.4 per cent while it has remained stable for houses.