Rental property website Rent.com.au has released its report for April 2021, based on property leasing data. The report illustrates the shift in Australian median rental property prices (both metro and regional), rental affordability (the median room price metric) and days on market.

Rent.com.au Rental Snapshot Highlights:

  • Median rents were consistently up in Canberra in April for both apartments (up 2.1% to $465/week) and houses (1.7% to $570/week).
  • Darwin apartments recorded the most significant downward shift in median rents in April, with prices down 5.2% to $360/week.
  • Queensland and Western Australia continue to battle against a rental squeeze, with high demand challenging low supply levels and keeping vacancies low.

Table 1: Median rent (apartments v houses) and price per room

 
Metro area Apartments % change Houses % change Price per room % change
SYDNEY $470 0% $600 -4.70% $260 0%
MELBOURNE $370 -1.30% $439 2% $190 0%
BRISBANE $400 0% $475 1.30% $175 -2.70%
PERTH $385 -2.50% $450 0% $160 0%
ADELAIDE $340 -0.50% $420 0% $152 -0.60%
HOBART $400 -1.20% $500 1% $186 -2.10%
DARWIN $360 -5.20% $540 -1.80% $175 -4.30%
CANBERRA $465 2.10% $570 1.70% $242 3.40%
National median $410 0% $470 0% $200 0%
Source: Rent.com.au property data 2021


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Price trends in April 2021

Median rents.

The April 2021 data from Rent.com.au show Australia’s rental market is slowly continuing its recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, the figures show that the capital city weighted average showed that apartment and house rents remained unchanged in April, despite some small fluctuations between property types.

House rents rose in Melbourne (up 2% to $439/week), Canberra (up 1.7% to $570/week), Brisbane (up 1.3% to $475/week) and in Hobart (up 1% to $500/week). Prices trended the opposite way for apartments, with Darwin recording the largest decrease of the capitals, down 5.2% month-on-month, followed by Perth (-2.5%) and Canberra (-2.1%).

The data indicates that rental market conditions remain diverse, with some notable differences between both property types and the regions.

Queensland, for example, continues to battle a real rental squeeze, with low vacancy rates forcing many renters to move back in with mum and dad. A mix of expats returning to Queensland, investors moving back into their properties and interstate migration have all been likely contributors to the squeeze in the sunshine state.

Conditions in QLD aren’t unlike those in Western Australia, experiencing a similarly unusual level of demand that supply levels can’t meet. Greg Bader, CEO of Rent.com.au, said that renters would need to be a little more flexible with their suburbs and locations of preference given the current environment. “The search for a home can be pretty stressful; there’s no escaping that. But there are still options available if renters are able and willing to compromise. It may also be worth considering sharing a lease for the short term. Renting with others means you often go up in price and have access to more options.”

Price per room.

Rent.com.au’s price per room measure is another way to look at the cost of renting in Australia. Houses saw the most significant shift in room costs annually, with upward movement in all states and territories. Perth (up 21.4%), Darwin (up 19.3%) and Hobart (up 18.7%) topped the list in April.

The country’s most expensive room prices remain in Canberra for apartments at $350/week and in Sydney for houses ($216/week).

Table 2: 12-month change in price per room (Apartments versus Houses)

 
Metro area Apartments % change from APR 2020 Houses % change from Apr-20
SYDNEY $300 0% $216 8.30%
MELBOURNE $230 -8% $150 9.80%
BRISBANE $225 0% $150 11.10%
PERTH $225 13.90% $141 21.40%
ADELAIDE $165 -5.70% $137 4.40%
HOBART $200 1.30% $180 18.70%
DARWIN $184 15.10% $167 19.30%
CANBERRA $350 25% $201 10%
National median $265 -1.50% $161 10.20%
Source: Rent.com.au property data 2021


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Regional rents.

Despite a 4.5% price drop, April’s data showed that regional Northern Territory was the least affordable in the country for the average house hunter, with the median rent now sitting at $475/week.

Price rises across most of the country’s regional areas indicate continued interest in regional centres, as renters continue to seek out space and lifestyle options outside the city. Victoria may have seen the most significant upward change in rents, up 2.8% to $360/week, but the most affordable regional properties could be found in South Australia at $300/week.

Table 3: Regional rents in April 2021

 
State/Territory Apr-21 % change from MAR 2021
NSW $440 2.30%
VIC $360 2.80%
QLD $400 0%
WA $400 2.50%
SA $300 2.50%
TAS $362 0.60%
NT $475 -4.50%
ACT n/a n/a
National median $410 2.50%
Source: Rent.com.au property data 2021

Time on market.

Rent.com.au’s average time on market measure is designed to provide some context to the movement in median rents across Australia.

The latest time on market data for April 2021 showed that almost all metro areas kept properties on market for longer month-on-month. Canberra apartments recorded the most significant slowdown in time on market in April.

Properties took 18 days on average to shift, which is 22% longer than in March. The most noticeable slowing was in Sydney for houses, which took 19% longer to lease in April, averaging 25 days to move.

Table 4: Time on market in April 2021

 
Metro area APARTMENTS (April 2021) % change from Mar 21 % change from Apr 20 HOUSES (April 2021) % change from Mar 21 % change from Apr 20
SYDNEY 33 days 14% slower 30% slower 25 days 19% slower 2% faster
MELBOURNE 42 days 8% slower 68% slower 28 days 11% slower 7% slower
BRISBANE 22 days 5% slower 7% faster 16 days 15% slower 28% faster
PERTH 19 days 4% slower 21% faster 17 days 7% slower 25% faster
ADELAIDE 21 days 7% slower 7% slower 16 days 1% slower 15% faster
HOBART 20 days 16% slower 5% slower 19 days 13% slower 8% faster
DARWIN 19 days 10% slower 15% faster 20 days 16% slower 37% faster
CANBERRA 18 days 22% slower 3% slower 16 days 0% change 23% faster
Source: Rent.com.au property data 2021

 


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