Australia rental crisis – Vacant rate reaches record low

The national rental vacancy rate is at its lowest point on record sitting at 1.1%, according to property group Domain.

Releasing February’s national rental vacancy results,  Domain’s report showed that the rental market was still heavily strained due to minimal properties being available for rent.

Hobart has the lowest vacancy rate across the country sitting at 0.2%, followed closely by Canberra and Perth sitting at 0.5%.

Renters across the country are finding it harder than ever to secure a property.  Now that international borders have reopened, bringing an influx of people to our capital cities and regional towns, the already tight sector faced further pressure.

Read more: Rental prices continue to soar

Arjun Paliwal (pictured), head of research and founder of data-led investor buyer’s agency InvestorKit, said t. were multiple factors contributing to Australia’s rental crisis.

“The first factor coming into play is the existing restrictions from years prior,” Paliwal said.

“One can corelate these restrictions from investor lending, APRA intervention, and credit policy changes. Investors are largely dominating and responsible for creating properties for rent, so reduction across investment activity seen by data as well as impact made by policies has compounded together to make a dwelling deficiency for renters.’’

Paliwal said government assistance was needed to plateau the rental crisis including a mixture of policy and visionary factors.

“Any policies which are anti the investor needs to be re-reviewed to incentivise people investing in property. These can include reversing extra costs for people purchasing investment properties, paying a higher price on stamp duty, changing rules around land tax, and micro council levels charging higher rates depending on the type of property you own.’’

Paliwal said a long-term vision for connecting cities and regional areas across Australia should be revised.

“We need to start thinking of smaller cities and looking at infrastructure and planning policies to connect regional Australia to capital cities,” he said.

“The issue is our highest concentration population is in just a few cities, so when people think of a rental crisis it does exist, however it’s less prominent in our regions. If we can allow more infrastructure in regional areas allowing for more zoning and land releases, this will increase volume of rental dwellings and create a longer-term future for investors considering investing in regional Australia.’’

Paliwal said a combination of this long-term vision with policies that won’t sting investors would slowly improve the rental crisis affecting Australia.