Signs of the property market easing have vanished with indications the rental market remains tight across much of the New England, with significant increases in average rents as a result.
Suburbtrends, a property market analytics company based in Newcastle, has revealed that despite recent signs of a possible increase, vacancy rates have instead dropped significantly in 50 key regions across the nation. The report, based on a meticulous examination of rental listings and Census 2021 data, details the changes in vacancy rates across different Statistical Area 3 (SA3) regions, which in the New England is Moree-Narrabri, Tenterfield-Glen Innes, Armidale, and Tamworth-Gunnedah. This shift towards a tighter market comes as a surprise, given the slight increase in vacancy rates observed nationally in June.
Kent Lardner, Suburbtrends’ founder, says the New England and North West rental market, much like the rest of NSW, shows diverging trends.
“Rental availability in Armidale is slightly more relaxed, with a vacancy rate of 2.1% as of July 2023. This is a marked reduction of 0.7% from the previous month, indicating increased occupancy rates,” Mr Lardner said.
“However, Inverell – Tenterfield’s extremely low vacancy rate of 0.8%, a decrease of 0.5% from June, is a concerning signal of the challenges renters and property managers face in this region.”
“The Tamworth – Gunnedah area and Moree – Narrabri area display similar vacancy rates of 1.4%, hovering around the critical threshold of 1.5%, signifying a critically low level of rental stock.”
“While Tamworth – Gunnedah’s vacancy rate remained constant from June to July, Moree – Narrabri experienced a marginal increase of 0.3%,” he said.
Mr Lardner says these figures point to the increasing pressure on both renters and property managers alike, especially in Inverell – Tenterfield where the demand far outstrips the available rental stock. Meanwhile, in regions such as Armidale, the decrease in vacancy rate suggests a growing absorption of rental inventory.
“These figures underscore the necessity for comprehensive strategies to address rental availability in these areas, in order to mitigate the imminent challenges confronting renters and property managers.”
Mr. Lardner highlighted the need for robust planning and policy responses to maintain a balanced and equitable housing market. Rental vacancy rates are directly linked to rental prices.
“Concurrent with the tightening vacancy rates, we have observed an escalating trend in median rental prices across the region over the last year. The higher demand for rental properties has exerted upward pressure on prices, a pattern that is especially prevalent in these specific areas,” Mr Lardner said.
“In the Armidale area, for example, the median rental price for houses has jumped from $400 to $430, reflecting an increase of 8%.”
“A similar scenario can be seen in Moree – Narrabri, where prices have risen from $370 to $400 in just a year, mirroring the same 8% increase.”
“The Inverell – Tenterfield area also experienced an upward shift in prices. The median rental price increased by 9%, moving from $330 to $360 in the span of 12 months.”
“The most substantial increase, however, is seen in Tamworth – Gunnedah. Here, the median price ascended from $380 to $420, marking a substantial surge of 11% in a year.”
“This confluence of low availability and high price growth underlines the pressing need for a strategic response to address housing affordability and accessibility in the New England and North West regions.”
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