Rents tumble in Perth, Darwin

Rental vacancy rates continue to increase in mining-dependent capitals Perth and Darwin, as low commodity prices and the completion of major construction projects affects the local economies.

Vacancies rose from 2.4 to 3.8 per cent in Perth, and from 2.1 to 3.5 per cent in Darwin, according to the latest data release from SQM Research.

The asking rents for those two cities also fell, with the average prices advertised falling by 6.4 per cent for houses in Perth and by 20.5 per cent in Darwin.

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The Darwin and Perth data pulled down national figures for vacancies and asking rents overall, but other capitals’ individual data was much more positive.

Vacancy rates were close to flat in most capitals over the past year, with Hobart and Melbourne markets slightly tighter, and small increases in vacancies in Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra.

Sydney’s vacancy rate did not change year on year, remaining at a tight 1.6 per cent.

Managing Director of SQM Research, Louis Christopher, said: “Clearly, vacancies have been soaring in Perth and Darwin, while our east coast capital cities have generally been stable. This is just one indicator on how the mining downturn has effected the economy. Clearly, not everywhere has been effected, but those cities and townships that do have exposure have been hit hard.”

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