Melbourne’s vacancy rate has dropped to a nearly 10-year low, reflecting an increasingly unaffordable “landlords’ market” in the city. SQM Research figures show just 1.7 percent of the properties being offered for rent in the city remained available in February, equating to 8693 residences.This was down from 2 percent in January.SQM managing director Louis Christopher said the last time the figure slipped as low as 1.7 percent was in June 2007.

“This is quite remarkable — despite predictions of looming apartment oversupply in inner-city Melbourne, we are seeing vacancies fall rather than rising,” he said.

“Even in the Docklands, the vacancy rate tumbled to just 2.4 percent last month, down from a high of 6 percent in December.”

The figures have been released hot on the heels of the Victorian Government announcing that property owners who leave residences empty will be slapped with a new tax from January 1.

Mr Christopher said SQM’s figures didn’t take into account vacantapartment properties that weren’t being offered for rent.  But they showed a need for the tax, which aims to free up more housing and reduce pressure on prices by encouraging investors to list their properties for sale or rent.  “Hopefully the tax does work and brings more properties into the marketplace,” he said.

State by State

If Melbourne is successful with revenue raising and controlling the rental market, with the hopes to bring back a balance to housing affordability do you think other states will follow? There is also valid discussion about the viability of future developments and will they be put on hold?

SQM latest report,  Boom or Bust has eased fears of a deep housing correction in Sydney and Melbourne, crediting the actions of regulators to rein in rampaging investor borrowing for those cities’ survival.

Let’s look local

BRISBANE’S dwelling price growth is expected to mirror that of Sydney this byear, with new forecasts seeing the city more than double its pace to a high of 7 percent. These projections came off the latest SQM Boom & Bust report.

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“Brisbane’s property market will experience slightly stronger gains than those posted in 2017,” said SQM housing expert Louis Christopher, “with property prices forecast to rise from 3 percent to 7 percent.”

What was holding Brisbane back from a higher rate of housing price growth was “the persistent overhang of surplus property listings”, he said.

2018 we have only just begun…