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Melbourne house rents stagnant in December quarter as unit rents fall

Tenants in Melbourne have much to cheer about as weekly rents fall or stagnate in some of the city's most desirable areas.

High levels of apartment construction are affecting rental growth and vacancy rates, new Domain Group data shows.

The median weekly asking rent for houses remains $380, while unit rents have dropped 1.4 per cent to $360, the December quarter rental report released on Thursday shows.

Over the past year, rental growth rates for houses were also flat, and unit rents increased just 2.9 per cent.

With December vacancy rates tracking at 3.9 per cent for Melbourne units compared with 2.1 per cent for houses, renters looking at the former would appear to have more choice.

Domain Group senior economist Andrew Wilson said an increased supply of new apartments in Melbourne would continue to affect landlords facing prospects of lower rental growth. 

"Once it starts to impact on rents, it becomes bad news for developers because investors aren't interested in a falling rent environment, as well as the issues to do with prices," he said. 

Investors who swooped on units in the inner city five years ago would have had only a rental increase of 7.7 per cent over the period, compared with landlords in the south-east and outer east who enjoyed rises of 16 per cent and 12.9 per cent, respectively.

Source: domain.com.au

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