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NSW rental crisis deepens despite slight improvements in some areas

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The rental crisis in New South Wales persists, with only marginal improvements in vacancy rates across some metropolitan and regional areas, according to the March 2024 REINSW Vacancy Rate Survey results.

“Over the last month, the vacancy rate for Sydney overall increased by a slim 0.1% to 1.4%,” REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said.

“There was an increase in vacancies in the Inner Ring to 1.6% (+0.3%) but no movement at all across the Middle and Outer Rings of Sydney which stubbornly remained at 1.3% and 1.2% respectively.”

Newcastle saw a slight increase in vacancies to 1.3%, up from 1.2%, while Wollongong’s rates remained unchanged at 2.3%.

Regional New South Wales presented a mixed picture, with some areas experiencing slight increases in vacancy rates while others plummeted to critically low levels.

“Residential vacancy rates for the Albury, Coffs Harbour, Mid-North Coast, Riverina and the South East areas all tightened over the last month, aggravating the scarcity of rental accommodation in these regions,” Mr McKibbin said.

“Conversely, Central Coast, Central West, Murrumbidgee, New England, Northern Rivers, and Orana all saw their rates increasing for the month.”

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Mr McKibbin emphasised the ongoing challenges faced by all parties in the rental market, stating, “Consistently, month after month, the narrative persists – rental availability diminishes while rents steadily rise.

It continues to be a dire landscape for all parties engaged in the market – tenants, landlords, and property managers alike.”

The REINSW CEO also expressed concern over the growing number of individuals unable to secure rental accommodation, warning of the potential consequences.

“With each passing month, the count of individuals seeking but unable to secure rental accommodation accumulates,” said Mr McKibbin.

“This scenario poses a significant threat to the health, safety, and overall well-being of numerous individuals, and the tally keeps escalating.”

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