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Wednesday 28 December 2022

Rental listings sink to record lows

Rental tightness

In theory available rental listings should increase over time, as Australia's population grows.

This week - as the Aussie population touches a record high of 26¼ million - they fell to the lowest level on record, on SQM's data series, which stretches back to 2011.

Source: SQM Research

The recent declines have been driven by Sydney, and in particular Melbourne, as more employees head back to the cities. 

This trend is likely to intensify in 2023 as skilled immigration gets back up to speed, and as more employees require workers to attend the office. 

Some cities, like Adelaide, already have chronically tight rental markets.

Perth's rental market will soon be even tighter than the extreme lows seen during the construction phase of the resources boom. 

Asking rents for units have increased by 23 per cent over the past year in Sydney, and 22 per cent in Brisbane.

The tightness will intensify for as long as interest rates are trending higher, and for as long as regulations require stress testing for a 300 basis points buffer (for context, the UK now has a 100 basis points buffer). 

It's quite possible that we see population growth of close to ½ million in 2023. 

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Only time will tell, of course, but the ABS population clock is currently estimating a rate of population growth in excess of 500,000 per annum.