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Editions

‘Ridiculous’ vacancy claim

02 Aug 2011

Local real estate agents have described as ridiculous, a report last month which claimed nearly one quarter of Docklands apartments were empty.

Housing campaign group Earthsharing Australia believes that landlords are deliberately leaving apartments empty to reduce supply and force up rental prices.

Spokesperson Karl Fitzgerald told Docklands News that landlords typically left 10 per cent of their property portfolios empty to drive capital growth rather than collect rent.

Earthsharing says it relies on City West Water records to identify empty properties when compiling its Speculative Vacancy Report. Dwellings using less than 50 litres a day for six consecutive months were deemed vacant.

When told by Docklands News that Docklands apartment towers typically shared a single City West Water meter, Mr Fitzgerald said this fact could potentially indicate an even higher vacancy rate.

“That would make our figure even more conservative,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

The report claims a 23.32 per cent vacancy rate, against an official vacancy rate of 3.62 per cent. Earthsharing’s report underpins a soon-to-be-released documentary Real Estate 4 Ransom.

The group describes itself as “Georgist” which, according to Wikipedia is a philosophy “based on the some of the writings of the economist, Henry George (1839-1897) and certain others, and is usually associated with the idea of a tax on the value of land.”

Docklands real estate agents say Mr Fitzgerald’s claims couldn’t be further off the mark.  They say some owners choose to use their properties as a “city pad” but the only real vacancies occur during the brief time between when one tenant moves out and another is found.

Local agencies put the vacancy rate at between 2 and 2.4 per cent.

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Comments

  • David Collyer at 1:22pm on 05/08/11

    Vacancy levels in Docklands 'Ridiculous'?

    As we speak, there are 437 properties that have been on the market in postcode 3008 for more than 60 days - known as 'Stale Stock'. Owners have spent money campaigning and ... No Sale!

    See: http://www.sqmresearch.com.au/homediscounts.php

    Agencies have been sacking staff because no one is buying. Who can blame them at these 'Ridiculous!' prices.

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