Vacancy Rates Remain Steady in September

National residential property rental vacancy rates rose to just 1.7% over the month of September 2021.

Vacancy rates remained largely steady over the month of September, albeit remaining in favour of landlords for most capital cities with the exception of Melbourne and inner Sydney.

Vacancy Rates

The total number of vacancies Australia-wide now stands at 59,345 residential properties, up from 58,856 in August.

Sydney and Brisbane’s vacancy rate rose to 2.7% and 1.4% in September from 2.6% and 1.3% in August.

In Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Canberra, and Hobart the vacancy rate remained below 1.0%, while Melbourne’s rate remained constant yet elevated.

Vacancy rates rose in the Sydney CBD and Melbourne CBD to 8.2% and 8.4%.

SQM’s calculations of vacancies are based on online rental listings that have been advertised for three weeks or more compared to the total number of established rental properties. SQM considers this to be a superior methodology compared to using a potentially incomplete sample of agency surveys or merely relying on raw online listings advertised. Please go to our Methodology page for more information on how SQM’s vacancies are compiled.


Over the month to 12 October 2021, national asking rents rose 0.6% for houses to $536 per week and units rose by 1.7% to $409 a week.

Capital city rents rose by 0.2% for houses over the past 30 days and are up by 10.2% over the past 12 months.

Rents for units rose by 0.2% over the past 30 days and up by just 2.9% for the past 12 months.

Rental vacancy rates were little changed in September and were generally favouring landlords except for the Sydney CBD and large parts of Melbourne.

As NSW and Victoria come out of lockdown and back to some sense of normality we expect some movement in the rental market.

CBD locations may well improve for property owners as overseas students return to our shores.

However, regional vacancy rates may also rise as longer-term city dwellers seek a return to a larger choice of amenities, family, and friends.

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