Property investors will do well in 2012 on the back of the same tight vacancy rates and soaring rents they enjoyed in 2011, a research company has claimed.
"With regard to rents, 2011 has been a landlords' market with rents nationwide recording rises of 4.6 per cent-plus, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)," managing director of SQM Research, Louis Christopher, said.
"Sydney has recorded the fastest [rising] rents while Melbourne has been at the other end of the spectrum with zero rental growth, and in some areas rental declines.
"I expect 2012 to be somewhat the same with possibly another five plus per cent increase," he added.
Figures released recently by SQM Research revealed that residential vacancies rose slightly during the month of November, increasing by 0.1 per cent to 1.9 per cent. This brings the total number of vacancies for November to 48,244 nationally.
Canberra remains the nation's tightest rental market, recording a vacancy rate of just 0.6 per cent for the month of November, with a total of 294 properties.
This was closely followed by Perth, where renters have to choose from just 1,208 properties, leading to a vacancy rate of 0.8 per cent.
At the other end of the spectrum was Melbourne, whose vacancies continued to increase from month-to-month, and are largely considered to be experiencing an over supply of property, SQM Research said.
The capital city recorded a vacancy rate of 3.4 per cent for the month of November, with a total of 12,367 vacancies.
"Melbourne's high levels of sale stock also further confirm that the city is currently undergoing an oversupply issue," SQM Research said in a monthly report.
"Coming off the building boom that occurred in 2009 and 2010, the city has many 'newly completely' and 'currently being constructed' dwellings, but unfortunately not enough demand to meet the high levels of stock available."
"This problem is being intensified by a generally cautious consumer attitude towards residential property at the present moment. Many individuals are deciding to stay at home in order to keep costs at a minimum or save, and even those who are currently interested in purchasing homes are opting for less expensive alternatives and are choosing older dwellings verses brand new or off-the-plan residences," the report concluded.
Hobart recorded the largest yearly growth of the capital cities, increasing by 0.9 per cent to 1.9 per cent in November 2011, when compared to same period of the previous year.
Darwin has recorded the most substantial yearly falls, decreasing by 0.9 per cent since the corresponding period of the previous year to record a vacancy rate of 1.3 per cent in November.
Sydney's rental vacancy rate increased by 0.2 per cent month-on-month and year-on-year to 1.5 per cent in November.