Rental squeeze getting worse as vacancy rates tighten

Australia’s rental crisis has become even harder for tenants, with new data showing prices rising and more difficulty in finding a place to live.

The latest CoreLogic rental review for the first quarter of the year reveals a 2.5 per cent rise in the cost of rent nationally.

The increases mean renters will on average have to fork out an extra $52 a week, or $2727 a year.

Vacancy rates have fallen to near-record lows, with 1.1 per cent of rental properties available.

The shortage has been driven by a return to pre-pandemic overseas migration levels, coupled with a shortage in rental listings across the country.

The report’s author Kaytlin Ezzy said the findings showed renters were facing an even harder time.

“The re-acceleration of Australia’s rental market won’t be welcome news for those tenants already struggling to find affordable accommodation in our capital cities,” she said.

“There’s already a chronic undersupply of advertised rental stock in many parts of the country that’s translated into record low vacancy rates across most capitals.”

Figures have shown the number of national rental listings at under 95,000 properties – 17.3 per cent below levels at the same time last year.

Sydney has overtaken Canberra as the most expensive city to rent in Australia, with a median of $699 per week in the past quarter.

While it had the largest quarterly rise in rent, Melbourne is the country’s most affordable city to rent with a median of $526 per week.

Ms Ezzy said it was unlikely there would be any relief for renters in the near future, with high weekly rental prices and low availability set to remain.

“Tenants coming up against affordability constraints have limited opportunities and unlike home owners can’t borrow to pay rent,” she said.

“It’s likely some tenants are now sacrificing the spare room or home office and re-forming share houses that disbanded throughout COVID in order to share the rental burden.

“Those who have the financial means to pull together a deposit might be taking the plunge into home ownership sooner while others are locking in longer leases, rather than brave the hunt for a new rental.”

Meanwhile, a new report by PropTrack found median rents had gone up nationally by more than 11 per cent in the past year.

It’s been the fastest growth in rental prices since before the pandemic.

The report found every major market recorded rental price rises in the past quarter, except the ACT and regional SA.


Andrew Brown
(Australian Associated Press)


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