In contrast to the metropolitan market, the vacancy rate in regional Victoria continued to tighten. The vacancy rate decreased to 2.3 per cent in October 2014, the lowest rate since February 2012.
Despite a tighter overall vacancy rate, median house and unit rents in regional Victoria remained stable in October 2014. The vacancy rate in most regional centres declined in October although some areas continue to have relatively high vacancy rates. Geelong’s vacancy rate remains the highest of all the regional centres at 4.4 per cent. The vacancy rate in Bendigo remained stable at 2.5 per cent for the third consecutive month and it decreased slightly to 2.7 per cent in Ballarat.
The vacancy rate in Melbourne remained stable at 3.1 per cent in October 2014 and is at the same level as a year ago. The vacancy rate has been steadily increasing since a low of 2.8 per cent in June 2014. While the overall vacancy rate emained stable across Melbourne, there was a marked increase in the inner (0-4km) region. This region increased from 4.1 per cent in September to 4.3 per cent in October 2014 and continues to have the highest vacancy rates of all the subregions with continued increase in supply. However, the vacancy rate in the overall inner suburbs remained stable in October.
The median house rent in Melbourne also remained stable in October although the median rent for units increased by 2.6 per cent. The increase in the rent of apartments was driven by an increase in the inner suburbs (total), which recorded its first increase since March 2014.