May's figures show another drop in housing availability for renters nationally while capital cities suffered historic lows. Domain is reporting the rental industry to be "at crisis levels' across all states nationally, with desperate lows of 0.3 per cent in Adelaide only maxing out in Sydney (1.4%) and Melbourne (1.6%), with the highest low of available homes in the rental marketplace across the entire country.









Around 3 per cent is the recommended level of availability needed for a fair rental market


Dive into Domain's May 2022 Vacancy Rate Report



  • The national vacancy rate is steady again in May, remaining at 1% for the third consecutive month and maintaining the lowest rate since Domain records began in 2017

  • Vacant rental listings were down across most capital cities, with the market remaining in favour of landlords as listings remain low

  • Recovery and resurgence of the rental market see demand exceeding supply two years from the onset of the pandemic, resulting in the overall decline seen in 2022 and could see lower vacancy rates remain in the coming months


  • Rising interest rates and slowing median prices drive this rental crisis as investors try to increase their returns through increasing rents




Table 1. Monthly vacancy


Data provided by domain




Sydney and Melbourne are driving this recovery as the two cities experienced the most significant rises in their vacancy rates over the last two years



The Capitals 


  • Capitals remained steady while Melbourne, Brisbane, and Darwin fell


  • Vacant rental listings in combined Capitals declined over the month by 5.4%


  • Compared to May 2020, it's down by 54.4%


  • All cities' rental markets will have reduced choice, increased competition for rentals, and exacerbate less favourable rental conditions for tenants


  • Melbourne's vacancy rate continued its downward trend, falling every month since December 2021


  • Sydney remained at its lowest vacancy rate since Domain records began in 2017


  • Brisbane fell to a record low, sitting at 0.6%


  • Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, and Hobart held steady and remained tight while Darwin's rate is 0.1 percentage points off a record low


  • Adelaide continues its reign as the most competitive capital city to find a rental, remaining steady in May with rates sitting at 0.3%


  • The number of available rentals in Canberra went up 5.8% in May while its vacancy rate remained steady




Table 2. City areas with the biggest monthly movements and their corresponding vacancy rate
RankBiggest increaseBiggest decrease
1Pennant Hills – Epping, Sydney (2.4%)Litchfield, Darwin (0.7%)
2Adelaide City, Adelaide (1.6%)Macedon Ranges, Melbourne (0.6%)
3Hawkesbury, Sydney (1.3%)Essendon, Melbourne (1.7%)
4Pittwater, Sydney (2.9%)Brighton, Hobart (0.1%)
5Manly, Sydney (2.2%)Stonnington – East, Melbourne (3.0%)
6Eastern Suburbs – North, Sydney (2.3%)Manningham – East, Melbourne (1.0%)
7Dural – Wisemans Ferry, Sydney (1.0%)Keilor, Melbourne (1.7%)
8Centenary, Brisbane (0.7%)Parramatta, Sydney (1.1%)
9Sunbury, Melbourne (0.6%)Banyule, Melbourne (2.4%)
10Weston Creek, Canberra (0.8%)Caboolture Hinterland, Brisbane (0.2%)

Data provided by domain



With the rise in investor activity, the arrival of overseas migrants, and the return of international students we will see rental demand remain elevated and worsening conditions for tenants.


Change in vacant rentals


  • Combined capitals down 5.4% to under 20,000


  • Sydney down 3.3% to just under 8,000


  • Melbourne down 8.5% to just above 8,200


  • Brisbane down 4.8% to just above 1,500


  • Canberra up 5.8% to just below 300


  • Adelaide up 13.3% to just below 350


  • Perth down 4.1% to just above 1,000


  • Hobart up 1.1% to just below 90


  • Darwin down 10.1% to just below 100




Table 4. City areas with the lowest vacancy rates
RankSydneyMelbourneBrisbane & Gold CoastPerthAdelaide
1Campbelltown (NSW) (0.4%)Yarra Ranges (0.2%)Caboolture Hinterland (0.2%)Kwinana (0.1%)Onkaparinga (0.1%)
2Wyong (0.5%)Cardinia (0.3%)North Lakes (0.2%)Gosnells (0.3%)Gawler – Two Wells (0.1%)
3Richmond – Windsor (0.5%)Casey – South (0.4%)Southport (0.2%)Kalamunda (0.3%)Marion (0.1%)
4Camden (0.5%)Nillumbik – Kinglake (0.4%)Bald Hills – Everton Park (0.2%)Armadale (0.3%)Port Adelaide – West (0.1%)
5Blue Mountains (0.5%)Knox (0.5%)Nerang (0.2%)Cockburn (0.3%)Tea Tree Gully (0.1%)

Data provided by domain




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Sam Bloch


Sam Bloch