According to Domain’s quarterly rent report, rents hit record highs in every capital city across the country, with Canberra remaining the most expensive city for homes and units.
The median weekly rent for a house in the nation’s capital hit $690 a week, while Brisbane saw the biggest year-on-year increase of 16.9%, taking the cost to $520.
It was the biggest annual increase in the city’s history, which has been attributed to young families moving to Greater Brisbane during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Melbourne remained the most affordable city to rent a home at $460 per week after rising 2.2% in the June quarter.
The affordability of homes has shifted demand to units, causing their quarterly rents to grow faster than homes.
Unit rents in Canberra were the most expensive at $550 a week, marking a 10% year-on-year increase.
Adelaide was the most affordable city to rent, at $380 per week, an increase of 2.7%.
Domain’s head of economics and research, Nicola Powell, said a variety of factors had boosted demand for rentals across Australia.
“The numbers we are seeing are the result of a combination of high purchase prices locking people into the rental market for longer, higher home loan costs passed on to tenants, investment activity weaker throughout 2019/20 and a decline in the number of building completions,” Dr Powell said.
She said other factors included “greater household formation, investors taking advantage of the recent price spike and rental demand boosted by the return of international students and overseas migration”.
Anglicare Australia’s acting executive director, Maiy Azize, said the rent crisis would only get worse unless the government intervened.
“The market is at its peak and people are struggling to keep up. Anglicare agencies have seen full-time workers sleeping in their cars and pensioners struggling to find rooms in shared houses,” said Ms. Azize at the AAP.
“The best way to deal with this crisis is to build affordable rentals. (We) call for the construction of 25,000 new social and affordable rentals each year for the next two decades. We also want reforms that end the unfair rent increases and make renting safer.”
The report notes an improvement in rent affordability in some suburbs, including Birmingham Gardens (NSW), MacLeod (Vic) and Middleton (SA).
MEDIAN WEEKLY RENTAL PRICES BY CAPITAL:
Sydney – House: $620, Unit: $525
Melbourne – House: $460, Unit: $410
Brisbane – House: $520, Unit: $450
Adelaide – House: $480, Unit: $380
Canberra – House: $690, Unit: $550
Perth – House: $495, Unit: $400
Hobart – House: $540, Unit: $450
Darwin – House: $600, Unit: $480
Source: Quarterly report on estate rents