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The Suburbs With the Least Vacancies for Renters

The rental affordability crisis is showing no signs of easing up, it appears. With news emerging that vacancy rates are continuing to shrink, the situation is leaving renters with few options and increased risks of poor treatment from opportunistic landlords. Folks looking for houses or apartments for rent are contesting with vacancy rates varying from 0.3 per cent in Adelaide to 1.6 per cent in Melbourne – per Domain’s Rental Vacancy Rate Report for May 2022.

There are, of course, some areas that are more underserved than others in the rental market. RentRabbit, a service that collates reviews of rentals, has pulled together a list of 20 suburbs (using data from Suburbtrends and The Australian Bureau of Statistics) that have desperately low numbers of rental properties.

We’ve shared the list for you below.

Australian suburbs with low rent vacancy levels for houses or units

  1. Banora Point, 2486, NSW: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.3%, Rent as share of household income: 64%
  2. Tweed Heads South, 2486, NSW: Property type: Unit, Vacancy rate: 0.2%, Rent as share of household income: 62%
  3. Coombabah, 4216, QLD: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.3%, Rent as share of household income: 62%
  4. Nambucca Heads, 2447, NSW: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.2%, Rent as share of household income: 61%
  5. Cooroy, 4563, QLD: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.6%, Rent as share of household income: 61%
  6. Ulladulla, 2539, NSW: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.3%, Rent as share of household income: 61%
  7. Victor Harbor, 5211, SA: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.3%, Rent as share of household income: 59%
  8. Maclean, 2463, NSW: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.5%, Rent as share of household income: 56%
  9. West Kempsey, 2440, NSW: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.3%, Rent as share of household income: 54%
  10. Busselton, 6280, WA: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.6%, Rent as share of household income: 54%
  11. Rokeby, 7019, CAS: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.0%*, Rent as share of household income: 53%
  12. Wauchope, 2446, NSW: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.5%, Rent as share of household income: 53%
  13. Unanderra, 2526, NSW: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.8%, Rent as share of household income: 53%
  14. Currimundi, 4551, QLD: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.7%, Rent as share of household income: 52%
  15. Gateshead, 2290, NSW: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.7%, Rent as share of household income: 52%
  16. Urraween, 4655, QLD: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.8%, Rent as share of household income: 51%
  17. Mowbray, 7248, CAS: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.3%, Rent as share of household income: 51%
  18. Corrimal, 2518, NSW: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.5%, Rent as share of household income: 51%
  19. Moonah, 7009, CAS: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.0%*, Rent as share of household income: 50%
  20. Belmont, 2280, NSW: Property type: House, Vacancy rate: 0.4%, Rent as share of household income: 50%

RentRabbit notes the below with respect to the above data.

*When a suburb has a vacancy rate of 0%, that doesn’t mean the suburb literally has no vacant rental properties. Rental properties are regarded as ‘officially’ vacant when they’ve been on the market for 21 days or more. When a suburb has a vacancy rate of 0%, it means all rental properties are being filled in less than 21 days of being listed for rent.

On the state of rental vacancies, RentRabbit co-founder Ben Pretty gave the following statement:

“There are many suburbs across Australia where vacancy rates are very low and tenants are struggling to find somewhere to live,” he said.

“For affluent tenants in more privileged suburbs, they at least have more options in terms of where they can live, especially as many of them are knowledge workers who can work remotely.

“But for the many tenants who have low household incomes and who live in socio-economically disadvantaged areas, they’re really struggling right now and have very few options.”

If you’re looking for more suburbs that have been highlighted of late, Domain shared the below table in its May report with a handful of other suburbs affected by low vacancy rates that month.

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, many of the suburbs listing the highest rental vacancy rates in May 2022 are those closer to city centers, or are known as fairly affluent areas.

Table 4. City areas with the lowest vacancy rates

Rank sydney melbourne Brisbane & Gold Coast Perth Adelaide
1 Campbelltown (NSW) (0.4%) Yarra Ranges (0.2%) Caboolture Hinterland (0.2%) Kwina (0.1%) Onkaparinga (0.1%)
two Wyong (0.5%) Cardinia (0.3%) North Lakes (0.2%) Gosnells (0.3%) Gawler–Two Wells (0.1%)
3 Richmond–Windsor (0.5%) Casey–South (0.4%) Southport (0.2%) Kalamunda (0.3%) Marion (0.1%)
4 Camden (0.5%) Nillumbik–Kinglake (0.4%) Bald Hills–Everton Park (0.2%) Army (0.3%) Port Adelaide–West (0.1%)
5 Blue Mountains (0.5%) Knox (0.5%) Nerang (0.2%) Cockburn (0.3%) Tea Tree Gully (0.1%)

Data provided by

Table 3. City areas with the highest vacancy rates

Rank sydney melbourne Brisbane & Gold Coast Perth Adelaide
1 Pittwater (2.9%) Stonnington–East (3%) Jimboomba (1.5%) Cottesloe–Claremont (1.4%) Adelaide City (1.6%)
two Pennant Hills–Epping (2.4%) Whitehorse–West (2.7%) Brisbane Inner (1.4%) Fremantle (1.3%) Holdfast Bay (0.5%)
3 Eastern Suburbs–North (2.3%) Stonnington–West (2.5%) Sunnybank (1.3%) Perth City (1.2%) Unley (0.5%)
4 Manly (2.2%) Maribyrnong (2.4%) Mt Gravatt (1%) Mandurah (0.7%) Mitchell (0.4%)
5 Ku-ring-gai (2.2%) Banjule (2.4%) Brisbane Inner–West (0.9%) Melville (0.6%) Campbelltown (SA) (0.4%)
Data provided by domain

This, following reports that certain restrictions on tiny house occupancy and granny flat housing (in certain states), makes for a pretty bleak picture for folks in need of affordable houses or units to rent in Australia. But hey, at least now you have the option to leave a review for your former landlord if you like – which has the potential to inspire fairer conditions in some cases.

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