Finding a rental property can be tough and with new REIV data showing that Melbourne’s rental market tightened in October, it has become even tougher, particularly in the city’s outer suburbs.
The inner city is the easiest place to find a rental property, but even there the vacancy rate was just 2.9 per cent in October, down from 3.1 per cent in September. This was the second consecutive month the rate had fallen – in August it was 4.7 per cent.
It was in the outer suburbs that the rental market tightened the most. The outer suburban vacancy rate was just 1.8 per cent, down from 2.5 per cent in September. And in suburbs more than 20 km from the CBD the vacancy rate was just 1.2 per cent. Those figures had been low in August, but not as low as they are now. For Melbourne as a whole the rental vacancy rate fell – down to 2.7 per cent in October, from 2.9 per cent the previous month. That is the lowest it has been all year.
REIV CEO Enzo Raimondo said that while that’s not good news for renters, it is encouraging for investors buying property to let. “Investors are increasingly active in the Melbourne housing market and the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics housing finance data showed a rise in the value of investment housing loans – up by 5.2 per cent, seasonally adjusted, in September,” he said.
There was more good news for investors with October’s rental market update showing house rents on the rise in inner, middle and outer Melbourne. The biggest increase was in inner Melbourne, up from a median house rent of $510 a week in September to $521 a week in October. In the middle suburbs the median rose $9 to $379, while in the outer suburbs it was up $5 to $350 a week.
Apartment rents were more stable, with only the inner suburbs recording an increase compared with September and that was just $2 a week.