Property Buzz

PropertyBuzz, your daily dose of property news.

Green shoots for rental vacancies, a Perth agency gets caught holding on to rental bonds, and why building approvals are causing concern across the country

Welcome to Property Buzz! I’m Juliet Helmke. Today is Thursday, 06 June.

– The national rental vacancy rate in Australia increased for the third consecutive month in May, according to data from PropTrack, indicating at the very least that the rental market is heading in a promising direction.

– The national vacancy rate lifted 0.08 percentage points to 1.3 per cent – which is still far below what is considered a healthy level of availability. 

– Sydney and the ACT experienced the largest increases in rental vacancy rates in May, up 0.16 percentage points and 0.18 percentage points respectively.

– Perth, meanwhile, saw the largest increase over the past three months, with availability rising 0.40 percentage points.

– However, all of Australia’s capitals, except Canberra, are still experiencing lower vacancies than before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the regions are also struggling, with vacancies outside of the major cities rising just just 0.02 percentage points. 

– Even so the latest data will be welcome for renters, as the nation waits to see if this trend continues.

In Perth now, and a real estate agency in the centre of the city has been fined $8,000 for failing to lodge over $14,000 in tenancy bonds within the required time frame, attracting attention from Western Australia’s Consumer Protection agency.

– The unlodged bonds related to nine different tenancies. Agencies are required to lodge these funds with the bond administrator within 14 days of receipt.

– Between June 2022 and July 2023, the agency was between four and eleven days late in lodging bonds for properties located across the city, despite being given a warning to correct its business practices.

– The agency was also found to have breached the Real Estate and Business Agents Act by failing to keep accurate accounts, including incorrect dates and amounts in the tenancy ledger, highlighting the importance of responsible record-keeping.

– And data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed that building approvals in April experienced another month of decline, casting further doubt on the achievability of the National Housing Accord.

– The ABS’ reported that building approvals in April fell by 0.3 per cent over the month from already-depressed levels, with detached house approvals down 1 per cent and higher density dwellings down 7.5 per cent compared to the year prior.

– In five weeks’ time the clock starts ticking on Australia’s commitment to build 1.2 million new homes over five years, which would mean  240,000 new dwellings must be completed each year. However, the past 12 months, less than 163,000 new homes received building approval.

That’s Property Buzz for today. 

See you again tomorrow, 07 June, for your daily dose of Property Buzz.

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Green shoots for rental vacancies