It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times.

If the rental market seemed tight before, then these few tidbits from PropTrack and are going to be hard to swallow.

The number of places available for rent in Australia shrank that little bit more last month.

New PropTrack research has found the national rental vacancy rate fell to a new, horrible record low of 1.02% in October, down, down, down 0.06 percentage points (ppt) month-on-month.

A little but a lot.

And to rub hydrochloric acid into the wound – just as the number of available rental homes has been falling, weekly rents across Australia have been climbing.

In fact the national median weekly advertised rent on at the start of October was recorded at $550 per week at the an increase of 3.8% over the quarter and 14.6% over the year.

Rental properties have become so hard to find that some renters have been offering to pay above asking rents to secure a home.

It’s the worst of news for Aussie renters who’ve had to endure weekly rent rises amid the cost-of-living crisis or have been forced to move as investors sell up and exit the market.

PropTrack senior economist Anne Flaherty says prospective Aussie renters were staring down a long and difficult road.

“The national vacancy rate has been trending down for well over three years now – a trend that looks likely to continue off the back of strong population growth and a slowdown in the supply of new housing,” Flaherty said.

“Melbourne and Sydney have seen the sharpest falls in available rentals over the past 12 months, with vacancy down 0.55 ppt and 0.35 ppt, respectively.”

Rental conditions in Sydney deteriorated further in October, with vacancy sliding 0.08 ppt to a record low of 1.11%.

“Tenants faced even tougher conditions in October, with the proportion of rental properties sitting vacant falling to the lowest level on record.

Just 1.02% of rentals were vacant in October, with vacancies down in both capital city and regional areas and record lows reached in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland.

“Conditions have also deteriorated in regional areas, with vacancy down 0.31 ppt over the quarter,” Flaherty said.

Adelaide continued its run as the city with the lowest vacancy in the country at 0.67%, while Darwin held the highest vacancy rate at 2.47%.

Rental vacancy rates in Melbourne and Hobart fell to 1.09% and 1.21%, respectively.

Vacancy rates below 1% were recorded across Perth and Brisbane, sitting at 0.87% and 0.7%, respectively.