Latest data from the Domain Group provides some positive news for Canberra tenants with flat or falling rental growth.
Canberra median weekly asking house rents remained steady over the December quarter at $450 but fell by 2.2 percent over 2014.
Although Canberra unit rents increased by 2.6 percent over the quarter to $390 per week, they were nonetheless 4.9 percent lower than the $410 recorded over the December quarter 2013 the year before.
Lower rents in Canberra reflect the recent subdued nature of the local housing market and an underperforming local economy. Latest ABS jobless data for December reports that the ACT trend unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent – well ahead of the 3.8 percent recorded over December 2013.
Falling unit rents over the past year in Canberra may also reflect recent higher levels of new apartment development in the inner suburbs pushing supply ahead of demand. Rents in Kingston fell by 7.7 percent over 2014 with Turner unit rents down by 6.7 percent over the year.
Supply and demand imbalances in the Canberra unit market are reflected in the latest Domain Group home vacancy rates for December. The vacancy rate for houses was reported at 1.4 percent over the month with the rate for units much higher at 4.2 percent.
Dr Andrew Wilson is Domain Group Senior Economist Twitter@DocAndrewWilson
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