SQM Research Weekly Newsletter
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SQM Research Residential Newsletter - 
Tuesday 16 June 2020
Property Explorer
Research Reports
Distressed Properties Report
Funds Research
Boom and Bust 2020 Report
Black Dragon's
Words for the Week

“The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual, crime.”

Max Stirner

Real Estate Realities 

This is how much money the government is giving first-home buyers to buy or build new, state by state

First-home buyers in every state of Australia already had cash incentives to build or buy a new home but last week the stakes got considerably higher.

When the federal government revealed its $25,000 HomeBuilder grant in a bid to boost the economy, throwing a lifeline to the home construction industry, it wasn’t designed to be used in isolation.

That $25,000 can be accessed on top of any existing grants or exemptions and, while these differ state by state, these grants could be a game-changer, says Damien Ross, general sales manager at QM Properties.

“For some first-home buyers, this will be their only opportunity to get into the market. Saving this kind of money takes most people years,” he said.

On Sunday came the news that first-home buyers in Western Australia could receive $55,000 in government assistance if they build a new home, thanks to a bonus $20,000 that the state government is going to tip in on top of HomeBuilder.


But continue to Rise in Sydney and Melbourne

by Louis Christopher, CEO

SQM Research today has revealed the national residential rental vacancy rate has recorded a minor decrease over the month from 2.6% in April to 2.5% in May 2020, with the total number of vacancies Australia-wide now at 86,398 vacant residential properties.

However, the largest rental markets of
Sydney and Melbourne recorded rises in rental vacancies.  Sydney rose to 4.0%, making it the highest vacancy rate in the country Melbourne’s vacancy rate had the highest percentage increase of 0.3% to record a 3.1% vacancy rate.   Adelaide and Hobart both have the lowest vacancy rate in May at 1.2% each.

The year on year comparison reveals unseasonal rises when the national rental vacancy rate in May 2019 was 2.2% compared to 2.5% recorded for May 2020.  Only Perth and Darwin recorded lower vacancy rates compared to this time last year.

Among the capital city CBD locations, Sydney CBD continues to blow out, now 16.2% in May, up from 13.8% in April.  Melbourne and Brisbane CBD are also up, now recording 9.3% and 13.3% vacancy rates in May respectively. Melbourne Southbank has risen to 16.8% and Sydney’s Palm Beach is now 16.7%.

Rental listings fell in first week of June

Total rental listings appear to have peaked for now with 98,061 listings recorded on the 9th of June verses 105,277 listings recorded on the 9th of May. There were 95,085 rental listings recorded on the 9th of June 2019. The data would suggest that vacancy rates may drop for June 2020. 

Asking Rents

Over the month, Capital city asking rents increased 0.2% for houses but declined 0.7% for units for the week ending 12 June 2020 to record asking rents of $538 per week for houses and $425 per week for units. 

Sydney and Melbourne continue to record declines in asking rents for both houses and units over the month. Whilst Brisbane, Perth and Darwin bucked the trend to record increases in house and unit asking rents.

Canberra recorded a 1.0% decline in house asking rents but remained stable for units. Adelaide and Hobart both recorded decreases in unit asking rents of 0.2% and 4.6% respectively but house rents increased 0.9% and 0.6% respectively.


After the results for May, we may now be hitting a short-term peak in vacancies. Weekly rental listings suggest a slight decline in supply for the first half of June. I think what is happening here is AirBnb property owners have now pulled back from listing long term and are now waiting this time out in the hope that the borders will be open shortly.

However, with an expected 170,000 dwelling completions for this year and still no imminent opening of the international border, I still think rental vacancy rates are going to remain elevated for 2020. While First Home buyer grants may assist in soaking up some of the new supply, lets just remember the bulk of underlying demand growth in recent years has come from net migration. Also note that many First Home Buyers are tenants.

AUCTION LISTINGS* for week ending 21 June 2020



Rest of Week




Rest of Week


Sydney 448 78   All NSW 507 123 Auctions in NSW 
Melbourne 525 36   All VIC 552 37 Auctions in VIC 
Brisbane 55 20   All QLD 94 58 Auctions in QLD 
Perth 4 6   All WA 4 12 Auctions in WA 
Adelaide 31 9   All SA 31 11 Auctions in SA 
Canberra 18 10   All ACT 18 10 Auctions in ACT 
Darwin 0 2   All NT 0 3 Auctions in NT 
Hobart 0 0   All TAS 1 0 Auctions in TAS

*Note: To date, most state governments have announced the return to public open homes and on-site auctions this Saturday, some online auctions could be converted to on-site auctions or postponed to a future date.  The above counts of auctions represent most recent known auction dates for the coming week. 

AUCTION RESULTS for week ending 14 June 2020

Last week, Sydney recorded a final auction clearance rate of 47.9% with Saturday auctions selling better than mid-week by some margin (49% verses 42%). Sydney volumes rose to 530  properties, the highest volume count since the 19th of April. It was a strong bounce in the clearance rate from the previous week’s 40.4%. But still well off pre-crisis levels which were in the 70s back in February.
Melbourne auctions struggled.  A clearance rate for the week of 40.3% was recorded with the Saturday results fairing much worse than the mid results (39.1% verses 59.3.%). Volumes rose to 477 properties for the week compared to the 143 for the previous week..
Looking forward to this week, Sydney has 526 scheduled which represents the same volume as last week.  While Melbourne has 561 scheduled, which is also up on last week but still well down on normal levels. This will be the first time since the 29th March that Melbourne has more auctions on than Sydney.

Full individual auction results can be found on our website: 



  62 Otisco Crescent, Joondalup WA 6027

Located in a quiet street with uninterrupted city views at the rear, is this 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house in Joondalup, a northern suburb of Perth. 
Initially on sale from February 2020 with an asking price of $399,000, the home has been reduced to an asking price of “from $380,000”.   It last sold in 1993 for $110,000.
Sitting on a 456 sqm block, the home features 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms plus a study or 4th bedroom, a good size laundry, alfresco area under the main roof and a single carport with extra parking.  The house was built in 1992 and is in a great location within walking distance to the Joondalup Shopping Centre, HBF Arena, public transport, Currambine Train station, schools, parks and sporting facilities, and is 26km to Perth’s CBD.
Currently, houses in the postcode have asking prices that range from $420,000 to $500,000. 
Asking prices have remained stable over the month for houses in this area but unit prices have decreased by 1.2%.  This area has seen a decline in property listings to 328 listed properties in May 2020 compared to 454 the same time last year.  The lower stock levels could account for house prices remaining stable in this area.
The agent states the home is an absolute bargain and could be the cheapest home in Joondalup but does need some TLC.  With all the current government grants available, now could be a great time to renovate or redevelop.  Take advantage of the Federal Government’s $25,000
HomeBuilder grant for owner-occupiers who build or substantially renovate their homes.  The First Home Owners Grant can also apply and save first home owners an additional $10,000.

Asking Rents for houses in this postcode have increased by 3.5% over the month which could indicate a shortage of family homes for rents in this area which seems to be pushing up rents.  Units however have experienced declines of 0.6% over the month.  Gross rental yield of 4.4% can be achieved for 3 bedroom houses and 4.7% for units.

Vacancy rates have decreased from 3.0% in April to 2.7% in May. All in all, this area is currently looking like a good rental market for houses.

Keep monitoring this market’s growth with SQM Research’s free property data. Also consider the SQM Property Explorer product for more in-depth data and property price estimator.

Louis Christopher's 2020 Housing Boom & Bust Report has now been released and is available for $59.95!

The Housing Boom and Bust report is accurate, impartial and detailed. Best of all it is priced so that EVERYONE from real estate agents, financial planners to regular mums and dads can access it at just $59.95. 

Key features of the 2020 Boom & Bust report include:

  • Louis Christopher's personal take on the markets 
  • Capital city forecasts 
  • Main drivers of demand and supply at present and going forward 
  • All leading indicators such as stock on market, vacancy rates etc
  • All the possible scenarios that could play out next year 
  • Nearly every city and regional postcode covered re: property stats plus ratings outlook

If you are a real estate professional or a serious residential property investor, you will not want to miss this report!

If you are interested in where the market is heading on a national level, then this is the report for you from one of the most
accurate housing market forecaster in the country. 

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Did you know that SQM Research doesn’t only provide residential property data, we also provide research on all asset classes.  We have data and analytics on over 10,000 funds in Australia.  To find out more and to subscribe to our Fund Data tool click here.

If you would like to subscribe to our Ratings Newsletter, click here.  The newsletter provides regular updates on all funds including ratings changes and media releases, and valuable Insights into the point of view of our analysts on a variety of ratings research related topics.  And it’s completely free!

SQM Research Weekly Asking Prices Index
Week ending: 16 Jun 2020 Asking Price     Chg on
prev wk
  month % chg
    12 month
% chg
Sydney  All Houses   1,376.2 -13.2  -0.9%  12.0% 
All Units 696.3 -1.8  -1.5%  1.1% 
Melbourne  All Houses 1,033.6 -4.2  -1.0%  10.1% 
All Units 565.7 1.6  0.3%  4.5% 
Brisbane  All Houses 642.1 1.0  0.5%  3.9% 
All Units 376.0 0.8  0.7%  1.1% 
Perth  All Houses 667.2 2.0  0.4%  1.9% 
All Units 380.1 1.4  1.1%  -1.3% 
Adelaide  All Houses 527.5 -0.7  0.1%  2.8% 
All Units 308.2 0.3  -0.0%  2.1% 
Canberra  All Houses 823.2 0.8  -0.1%  2.7% 
All Units 439.9 0.9  0.2%  1.9% 
Darwin  All Houses 576.9 1.5  0.3%  -2.2% 
All Units 345.7 0.3  2.8%  -2.5% 
Hobart  All Houses 569.4 -0.1  0.2%  9.7% 
All Units 359.5 5.1  3.5%  17.8% 
National  All Houses 601.0 -1.4  0.5%  5.7% 
All Units 390.8 -1.2  0.2%  4.6% 
Cap City Average  All Houses 984.7 -8.4  -1.4%  8.3% 
All Units 572.0 1.4  -0.6%  1.5% 

Next update: 23 Jun 2020

SQM Research Weekly Rents Index
Week ending: 12 Jun 2020    Rent     Chg on
   prev wk
   month % chg
     12 month
% chg
Sydney  All Houses     641.5 -1.5  -1.0%  -6.9% 
All Units 476.5 -1.5  -0.8%  -5.2% 
Melbourne  All Houses 532.7 0.3  -0.4%  -1.4% 
All Units 404.9 -0.9  -0.5%  -4.5% 
Brisbane  All Houses 462.3 1.7  1.1%  0.6% 
All Units 377.9 0.1  0.2%  1.6% 
Perth  All Houses 450.1 -0.1  0.6%  0.3% 
All Units 349.5 1.5  1.5%  3.9% 
Adelaide  All Houses 411.5 2.5  0.9%  4.0% 
All Units 316.9 1.1  -0.2%  2.7% 
Canberra  All Houses 621.8 -2.8  -1.0%  0.6% 
All Units 466.9 1.1  0.0%  0.9% 
Darwin  All Houses 485.7 -6.7  1.2%  -5.3% 
All Units 354.5 0.5  0.1%  -4.4% 
Hobart  All Houses 433.5 2.5  0.6%  -0.4% 
All Units 378.1 -18.1  -4.6%  -2.7% 
National  All Houses 443.0 -2.0  0.7%  0.5% 
All Units 373.0 5.0  1.9%  0.8% 
Cap City Average  All Houses 538.0 1.0  0.2%  -2.7% 
All Units 425.0 -1.0  -0.7%  -3.6% 

Next update: 20 Jun 2020

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