August rental data 2021

Rental property website has released its report for August 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. Rental Snapshot Highlights:

  • Properties in Darwin leased 32% quicker in August 2021 than they did the same time last year, now taking an average of 22 days.

  • Low vacancies in some metro capitals like Brisbane and Perth likely attributed to the departure of residents from Sydney and Melbourne over the last few months

  • Sydney houses were the most unaffordable of all dwellings in July at $650/week (up 1.6% on July 2021)

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

Metro areaApartments% changeHouses% changePrice per room% change
Source: 2021
National median$4201.20%$4750%$2000%

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Price trends in August 2021

Median rents.

COVID-19 continues to show an impact on Australia’s inner-city rental markets, the latest market data on rental listings has showed.

While most regions are starting to see some tightening in the rental markets, there’s been a slight uplift in available rental stock in areas across Sydney and Melbourne, placing pressure downwards on rents and upwards pressure on vacancy rates. Both Sydney and Melbourne have dominated heightened rental supply since the onset of the pandemic.

Seasonally, we usually see a decline in rental listings around this time, as available rental properties are typically highest at the beginning and end of each year. Some regions with an accumulation of rental stock go some way to reflect what’s happened with the COVID-19 downturn. Recent media commentary has highlighted the gap in housing demand that’s arisen because of international border closures – this is mainly because most new migrants to Australia start as renters.

Other factors which have contributed to some increase in rental stock include a surge in high-rise construction activity. Demand has been additionally affected by a weakness in some labour markets often associated with renters, including food, accommodation, and the arts sector.

A house in Sydney remains the most expensive dwelling to rent in Australia, now at a median of $650/week – closely behind was a house in Darwin at $580/week. Hobart houses also experienced the most significant increase in median rents in August – up 9.7% to $540/week.

As August ended with New South Wales, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory in lockdown, renters will likely continue to face hardship, particularly among low-income, low-saving households reliant on government support.

Price per room.’s price per room measure is another way to look at the cost of renting in Australia. Looking at the 12-month change in room prices, both apartments and houses recorded room price increases in August, up 8% and 5.6%, respectively. Houses recorded the most significant shift in room costs, with rents up in all states and territories. The most significant changes could be seen in Darwin (up 21.2% to $181/week), Canberra (up 17.2% to $210/week) and Adelaide (up 12.5% to $150/week).

The country’s most expensive room prices were in Canberra for apartments at $380/week and houses at $210/week.

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

Metro areaApartments% change from AUG 2020Houses% change from Aug-20
Source: 2021
National median$2708%$1585.60%

Regional rents.

In August, rental conditions were unchanged in Australia’s regions, with no shift in the national median to regional rents. Northern Territory remains the least affordable of all states/territories for rental properties, with the median rent now perched at $480/week, despite a 4% drop in prices.

Just two states recorded an increase in regional rents in August: Tasmania’s regional rents were up by 7.8% to $380/week, and Queensland saw rents rise by 1.2% to $420/week. However, in South Australia and the Northern Territory, rents were down by 6.2% and 4%, respectively. South Australia remains the most affordable for regional properties at $300/week.

Table 3: Regional rents in August 2021

State/TerritoryAug-21% change from JUL 2021
Source: 2021
National median$4200%

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Time on market.’s average time on market measure is designed to explain the movement in median rents across Australia. The month-on-month change to property leasing was most noticeable in Hobart, where apartment rentals stayed on the market 28% longer than in July 2021.

Brisbane houses were the quickest off market in August, despite leasing 2% slower than the prior month prior at 15 days.

Melbourne apartments, likely affected by ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, stayed on the market longer than any other metro area, taking an average of 34 days to lease.

Considering the annual change in time on market, Darwin recorded the most significant change of all metro areas, with apartments leasing 32% faster than they did last August.

Table 4: Time on market in August 2021

Metro areaAPARTMENTS (Aug 2021)% change from Jul 21% change from Aug 20HOUSES (Aug 2021)% change from Jul 21% change from Aug 20
Source: 2021
SYDNEY28 days5% faster6% faster23 days4% slower1% faster
MELBOURNE35 days3% slower2% slower26 days14% slower9% slower
BRISBANE19 days8% slower28% faster15 days2% slower5% faster
PERTH20 days9% faster9% faster17 days11% faster5% faster
ADELAIDE20 days4% faster16% faster19 days18% slower6% slower
HOBART18 days28% slower23% faster16 days1% faster16% faster
DARWIN20 days8% faster32% faster22 days14% slower2% faster
CANBERRA17 days16% slower11% faster19 days19% slower6% faster

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