Sydney renters looking for new digs have had some relief these holidays, with rental vacancy rates edging up to 1.9 per cent across the city in December.
The vacancy rate in the Hunter hit a two-year high of 2.1 per cent and in Coffs Harbour, renters could take their pick, with 3.7 per cent of rental properties empty.
But the Real Estate Institute of NSW, which released the December survey results on Monday, has warned the higher vacancy rates are unlikely to last.
"Traditionally January and February are peak periods for change all over the state as school leavers, university students and people moving jobs settle into new properties," REINSW president Christian Payne said.
"In 2013 we expect the vacancy rate to quickly reduce back to the tight levels seen in 2012 due to the rising population and lack of new housing developments."
The vacancy rate for Newcastle was 1.6 per cent in December, up from 1.2 per cent in November, while the Illawarra remained steady with a fall of just 0.1 per cent to 2.1 per cent.
There was no change for Wollongong at 2.5 per cent.
Outside Sydney, the hardest place to find rental accommodation was the mid-north coast, where availability fell 0.2 per cent to 1.8 per cent in December.