The residential vacancy rate marked a slight decline last month, as the majority of capitals witnessed a decline in the amount of available property for rent. SQM Research released its August data, which showed an average of 2.3 per cent of homes were without tenants over the course of the month.

There were some exceptions to the rule, however, as Brisbane, Darwin and Adelaide saw their vacancies remain unchanged from July levels.

Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM Research, doesn’t believe this will be the start of a new trend. Instead, he forecasts that vacancies will begin to increase over the course of the next 12 months.

The latest results may indicate renters are going in search of first home buyer loans to secure property of their own. With rental costs rising, it wouldn’t be surprising if Australians were keen to invest in real estate of their own.

Recent months have proved a turbulent time for the national property market, although conditions have largely remained in buyers’ favour. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) acknowledged this at its September 1 meeting, where members revealed strength across the housing market.

RBA Governor Glenn Stevens revealed house price inflation has largely been concentrated in Sydney and Melbourne, where price rises have outstripped many other parts of the country.

Board members also acknowledged a fall in the number of investment home loans that have been granted, which may have opened up the market to owner occupiers. Dwelling investment was down during the three months to June, but nevertheless remained positive over the past year as a whole.

All eyes will be on the next cash rate decision due on October 6, which could mean residential vacancies decline further as people instead choose to secure lending to invest in their own homes.

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