On the rental front, annual gross rental yields have continued trending downwards, with the combined capital city gross rental yield reaching 3.5%. Darwin topped the table (5.3%), followed by Hobart (5.1%), Brisbane (4.4%), Adelaide (4.2%), Canberra (4.1%) and Perth (3.8%). Sydney and Melbourne posted the lowest gross rental yields (3.4% and 3% respectively).
Annual combined capital city house rents fell by 0.3%. Only Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney recorded an annual increase in house rents (up 2.1%, 1.8% and 1.1% respectively). Darwin posted the biggest fall in annual house rents (-13.7%), followed by Perth (-8.5%). Falls were also recorded in Brisbane (-0.7%), Adelaide (-0.4%), Hobart (-0.2%).
The report noted addiitional economic data highlights, including:
- Dwelling approvals remain high but are slightly down from their record high – with nearly 234,000 dwelling approvals over the past year.
- Consumer sentiment eased by 3.5% in January, which is the lowest level since September 2015 but 4.3% higher than a year ago.
- Unemployment is now at its lowest level in two years, easing to 5.8% in January.
- The RBA left the official cash rate on hold in February, however, the market anticipates a 0.25% cut by September this year.