In February 2013, the residential vacancy rate in Melbourne and regional Victoria was 3.0 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively. The drop in Melbourne’s vacancy rate is largely due to falls in the inner and outer suburbs.
The vacancy rate in the inner suburbs fell from 3.8 per cent to 3.3 per cent while the vacancy rate for the outer suburbs fell from 2.6 per cent to 1.8 per cent. The vacancy rate for the middle suburbs remained unchanged at 3.9 per cent.
Melbourne’s rental market tightened in February 2013 with a lower vacancy rate and higher median rents. The median rent for houses in Melbourne increased by 2.3 per cent to $390 per week while it increased by 2.2 per cent to $368 per week for units/apartments. The increase in the median rent of houses was driven by increases in both the inner (+3.5 per cent) and middle (+2.6 per cent) suburbs. The increase in the median rent of units/apartments were also driven by increases in the inner (0.8 per cent) and middle (+2.6 per cent) suburbs.
The median rent for a house in regional Victoria remained stable for five consecutive months at $300 per week. After a 4.2 per cent increase in January 2013, the median rent for a unit in regional Victoria decreased by 3.0 per cent in February 2013. It should be noted that the median rent is of homes on offer for rent in the respective month.
In Ballarat the vacancy rate for February was 1.6% (down from 3.6% in January), Bendigo 2.8% (down from 3.6%) and Geelong 1.6% (down from 2.9%).