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Rental Market Update

By Georgina Shanahan

The availability of rental homes continues to improve with a vacancy rate of 2.3 per cent being recorded in Melbourne and 2.6 per cent in Regional Victoria over the month of December last year.

Within Melbourne the highest level of vacancies was in the middle suburbs where a rate of 2.9 per cent was recorded. This is well above the 2.3 per cent in November and 1.2 per cent a year ago.

The inner suburbs and those along the Mornington Peninsula recorded a vacancy rate of 2.5 per cent whilst outer suburbs recorded a contraction to 1.3 per cent.

The improved level of vacancies has not yet translated into lower rents being asked by landlords; however if the trend continues, as it is expected to, it will in time result in overall rents either stabilizing or reducing in nominal terms. REIV research indicates that they have generally fallen in real terms as the higher availability of rental homes has improved.

It must be noted that there will be local areas and specific property types where there may still be a low level of vacancies.

In regional Victoria the level of vacancies remained comparatively high in most regional centers. A vacancy rate of 3 per cent was recorded in both Geelong and Ballarat. In Shepparton and Warrnambool the rate was just above 4 per cent. The two exceptions to this were Bendigo and Wodonga where the vacancy rate was 0.8 per cent.

Source: REIV

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