Rent.com.au has released its latest report for January 2019 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.

Monthly Highlights:

  • Three cities saw a jump in median rental price for houses in the first month of the year, but for Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Hobart, price growth was stagnant.
  • Melbourne’s apartment rents surged in January, now third highest in the country.
  • Signs of green shoots are emerging in Brisbane’s rental market, with median weekly house and apartment rents recording growth for the first time in months.
  • Across all property types, Perth was the cheapest place to rent a room in January at $126/week.

Table 1: How the states and territories compared in January 2019
Median rent (apartments v houses) and price per room

Metro areaApartments% changeHouses% changePrice per room% change
National median$4502.3%$4500.0%$1902.7%
SYDNEY$5203.0%$6000.0%$2672.8%
MELBOURNE$4205.0%$4300.0%$1855.7%
BRISBANE$4051.3%$4402.3%$1704.0%
PERTH$3200.0%$3700.0%$1261.3%
ADELAIDE$3103.3%$380-1.3%$1402.4%
HOBART$350-12.5%$4500.0%$1702.0%
DARWIN$344-1.7%$490-2.0%$1500.0%
CANBERRA$450-3.7%$5503.8%$2152.3%

Price trends

Median rents.

Median apartment rents across the country jumped 2.3% to $450/week in January, according to new data from Rent.com.au. Melbourne (up 5%), Adelaide (up 3.3%), Sydney (up 3.3%) and Brisbane (1.3%) were key contributors to the change month-on-month.

A 5% increase in apartment median rents in Melbourne topped the list for price rises month-on-month, contrasted by a similar decline in prices (12.5% down) in Hobart and Darwin metro.

Sydney started 2019 at the top of the list, unchanged as the most expensive metro area for Australian renters looking to rent an apartment ($520/week) or house ($600/week). Sydney’s asking rents are comparable to the country’s most affordable city for apartments in January, Adelaide ($310/week).

Shared accommodation bargains abound in Perth

Considering Rent.com.au’s room price metric, Perth was the cheapest place in Australia to rent a house ($370/week), as well as an individual room in January. The data showed that Sydney (somewhat unsurprisingly) topped the list at $267/week for a single room, followed by Canberra ($215/week) and Melbourne ($185/week).

RENT Chief Executive Officer, Greg Bader said much of the existing data on rental property prices has been developed for property owners (i.e. dwelling price), which was why RENT developed its own individual measurement. “Our price per room metric is a different way to look at the cost of renting, a more accurate representation for people looking to share a home with others,” he said.

Canberra apartments recorded the most significant increase in room price year-on-year, up 12% to $350/week from January 2018.

Table 2: 12 month change in Price Per Room

Metro areaApartments% change from JAN 2018Houses% change from
National median$2757.80%$1504.70%
SYDNEY$3355.80%$2168.30%
MELBOURNE$2622.90%$1464.80%
BRISBANE$2283.80%$1424.30%
PERTH$1963.30%$1214.30%
ADELAIDE$1656.50%$1338.10%
HOBART$2000%$1500%
DARWIN$1763.70%$1553.90%
CANBERRA$35012%$1808%

Price trends

High regional rents hit home in the Northern Territory

Regional Northern Territory was the most unaffordable across the country for the average renter in January. Prices for rentals in the territory’s outlying regions were $470/week. Both South Australia and Victoria recorded an increase in median rents month-on-month, up 7.7% (SA) and 3.3% (VIC) respectively. Median rents remained relatively healthy across the rest of the country, with the only price drop seen in Queensland, down 1.3% to $370/week.

Table 3: Regional Rents | % change between Dec 2018 and Jan 2019

State/TerritoryJan-19% change from Dec '19
National median$3700%
NSW$4000%
VIC$3103.30%
QLD$370-1.30%
WA$3400%
SA$2807.70%
TAS$3000%
NT$4700%
ACTn/an/a

Melbourne market on January slowdown

“As many renters view the start of the year as the ideal time to find a new home, January is typically a busier month for rental properties than any other time of the year,” said Mr Bader. “With high demand from tenants comes an influx of new rental listings and available properties to rent which can lead to increased competition.”

The new data for January showed a general increase in the time apartments and houses were on market, month-on-month. Activity slowed most significantly in Melbourne houses, where properties took an average of 29.9 days in January to shift, 36% longer than in December 2018. Year-on-year, it was Perth apartments that showed the biggest improvement, with leasing periods up 22.1% on January 2018, now 37 days.

Table 4: Days on market | % change in no. days on market (Apartments v Houses)

Metro areaAPARTMENTS days on market 'Jan 19% change from Dec '18% change from Jan '18HOUSES days on market Jan '19% change from Dec '18% change from Jan '19
SYDNEY35.2 days31% slower22% slower36.8 days36% slower9.2% slower
MELBOURNE26.7 days22% slower15.2% slower29.9 days37% slower10.5% slower
BRISBANE23 days1% slower18.3% faster24.8 days13% slower11.1% faster
PERTH37 days9% slower22.1% faster35 days21% slower15.3% faster
ADELAIDE26.8 days17% slower2.2% faster22.9 days8% slower13.3% faster
HOBART14 days9% slower0.9% faster16.1 days24% slower5.2% faster
DARWIN48.5 days9% slower18.5% slower44.3 days34% slower0.5% slower
CANBERRA20.7 days20% slower0.4% slower21.1 days30% slower7.6% faster

About the report

The Rent.com.au Rental Snapshot, released monthly and quarterly each year, reports rental data from all active listings across Australia listed on Rent.com.au. Data is aggregated on a monthly basis to calculate median asking rents for the country’s eight capital cities, providing a comprehensive view of the current state of the market. The report is based on all property leasing data from the month.

To keep up-to-date with rental market changes across the country, like or follow Rent.com.au on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ or visit the Rent.com.au Blog. In the market for a new place? Search properties for rent on Rent.com.au.


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