There is evidence of a shortage of low-rent housing stock in Australia. But there is a puzzling aspect to this evidence because it would appear that vacancy rates in the low-rent housing stock are relatively high. The paper establishes this relationship using a unique panel database for two very different cities within Australia. This panel database permits measurement of various dimensions of housing supply across value segments in a metropolitan private rental housing market and at different points in time. Our research findings describe vacancy patterns, turnover of tenancies and survival rates of properties by rent value segments and explore associations with the spatial concentration and polarisation of the low rent housing stock.