Adelaide and regional SA’s vacancy rates are easing but rental markets remain tight

Jessica Brown

Jessica Brown

News Corp Australia Network

Smiling Hispanic family outside rental home

Adelaide and regional SA’s vacancy rates eased in January, new data reveals, but both rental markets are still tight. Picture: supplied.

Adelaide’s rental market remains one of the tightest in the country despite its vacancy rate once again easing slightly over the past month.

New PropTrack data shows the city’s vacancy rate, which measures the percentage of rental properties that are empty and available for lease, is now 0.78 per cent after easing 0.09 percentage points in January.

Adelaide now has the second lowest vacancy rate in the country behind Perth’s 0.76 per cent.

It was up 0.11 percentage points in the quarter and 0.02 percentage points over the past year.

Meanwhile, regional SA’s vacancy rate rose by 0.21 percentage points in January, taking it to 1.02 per cent.

It was 0.31 percentage points higher over the quarter and 0.23 percentage points compared to a year ago.

Aerial view of leafy eastern suburban houses on 4-way cross road intersection in Adelaide, South Australia

Despite Adelaide’s vacancy rate easing, it’s still below 1 per cent, according to the data. Picture: supplied.

Adelaide and regional SA’s vacancy levels have dropped by 42 per cent and 59 per cent respectively since Covid was declared a pandemic in March 2020.

Ray White SA chief executive Matt Lindblom said the heat was coming out of the rental market but it still had “a fair way to go”.

“Vacancy levels are still low but are creeping up (and) there’s still high demand but it’s definitely easing off,” he said.

“There’s not as much upward pressure on prices.”


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Mr Lindblom said a year ago landlords seeking high rents would have got the prices they were asking for but that wasn’t always the case now.

Meanwhile, he said many prospective tenants were more flexible and willing to compromise now, with some being willing to rent a home with one or fewer bedrooms than they wanted, which was freeing up some high-demand properties.

“It’s just gradually moving towards a more normal market,” he said.

Nationally, the vacancy rate fell 0.04 percentage points in January to 1.09 per cent.

It was up 0.05 percentage points for the quarter but down 0.15 per cent compared to the same time last year.

PropTrack economist and report author Anne Flaherty said tenants across the capital cities saw the sharpest drop in vacancies, while conditions eased slightly across most regional areas.

“Vacancy across the combined capital city areas was at the second lowest level on record in January, driven by a particularly sharp drop in availability in Sydney,” she said.

“The share of rental properties sitting vacant has been trending down for three years, from 3 per cent in April 2020 to just 1.09 per cent in January 2024.

“There are now 54 per cent fewer homes sitting vacant compared to the onset of the pandemic.

“With several rental properties currently vacant, tenants are facing stiff competition.

“This is likely to drive rents higher over the course of 2024, although we expect the pace of growth to slow.”