Cheap rents:

where tenants are getting the biggest discounts on rental homes


(credits to: Aidan Devine,


There has been another drop in apartment rents across Sydney’s inner suburbs as desperate landlords continue to struggle with the economic fallout of the pandemic.

Apartment rents in the CBD dropped by an average of about 7 per cent over September and are now nearly 26 per cent cheaper than a year ago, SQM Research data showed.

Rents were about 20 per cent cheaper annually in Surry Hills, Darlington, Pyrmont and Darlinghurst.

It came as landlords reported a battle to attract tenants – about 13 per cent of CBD rentals were sitting empty at the end of September, down from 16 per cent in May, but still about three times pre-pandemic levels.


SQM Research director Louis Christopher said there was a similar trend in Melbourne, where weak conditions characterised the inner city rental market.

“Elevated rental vacancy rates in Sydney and Melbourne continue to push city rents downwards,” Mr Christopher said.

Landlords outside of inner suburbs did not have the same issue, he added.


“In September the population was still looking to stay away from the large cities. We think this trend may soon reverse, but to what extent remains a mystery,” he said.

Rent falls across the Greater Sydney region as a whole were not as substantial as in the CBD and surrounds, but still significant.

The average fall in rent was 1.7 per cent over September, which pushed the total drop over the past year to just under 9 per cent. It was the biggest drop among capital cities.

Mr Christopher is on record explaining that elevated vacancy rates were the result of borders closing during the pandemic.


International students and travellers account for much of the demand for inner city rentals, he said.

The Real Estate Institute of NSW’s monthly rental vacancies survey revealed the proportion of all rental homes without a tenant rose to 4.1 per cent in September.

The vacancy rate in middle and inner ring suburbs was 5.5 per cent, while in outer suburbs it was only 2.4 per cent.

REINSW chief executive Tim McKibbin said property managers were taking longer to fill their properties.


(photocredits to