The first icon displays a summary of key suburb data. If you click on an adjacent suburb on the map, you will see the same data panel display allowing you to compare instantly.
We consider a rental property as being vacant if it has been listed for 21-days or longer. By counting (a) the total number of vacant properties within a suburb and (b) the total number of rental properties managed by real-estate agents within the suburb, we can estimate the vacancy rate (a)/(b). This is calculated for all residential property types. One of the reasons we aggregate all property types is due the the way the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) categories properties, which places row-houses and terraces in the same group as strata town-homes. In inner city suburbs such as Newtown in Sydney, this would produce very odd results for houses. To avoid this problem and also maintain a more robust data sample, we have decided to combine all property types.
As a general guide, anything under 3% is considered low.
This is the current vacancy rate, which is typically lagged by up to 1 month. A prolonged period of very low vacancy rates will lead to higher upwards pressure on rent price reviews. Conversely, prolonged periods of vacancy rates of 4% of higher do create a downward pressure on rents, but this is often more lagged as the result of landlord expectations. It is often the case to find properties sitting vacant for several weeks before prices are adjusted to meet the market.
Vacancy rate trends a an important metric when it comes to expected changes to rental prices. You will not only find the current vacancy rate driving prices, especially when very low or very high – it is also the trend. If you are an existing investment property owner, the vacancy rate trend is an important metric leading up to a rental review. If the current vacancy rate is low and lower than it was 12-months ago, then this would imply a rental review price increase is most likely, especially when supported by rental median data.
Our approach to suburb level medians is to use a rolling 12-month sample. This is a common technique used by data companies due to the relatively small sample sizes for most suburbs. As a result, a small increase or decrease in the rental median can often show a strong underlying shift in prices, especially when the evidence supports the trend when looking at both the Statistical Area 3 (Sa3) median trend and vacancy rate data.
We calculate the rental median by first splitting out houses (including terraces) and units (including town-homes). Then sorting the rentals highest to lowest we take the middle value, which is the median.
We present what the median was as of 12-months ago to help align with annual rent reviews. This is helpful for existing landlords and property managers and also investors. Before you rely on the suburb level change in median prices, cross reference this with the Statistical Area 3 (Sa3) median trend and vacancy rate data.
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