Rental market snapshot - January 2020

Rental property website Rent.com.au has released its report for January 2020, 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:

  • Perth remains the cheapest capital city to rent an individual room in a house at $126/week, despite a year-on-year room price increase of 8.6%.
  • Sydney ended 2019 and began 2020 as the most unaffordable metro capital for apartments and houses at $520/week and $600/week respectively.
  • Houses in Canberra slowed most significantly of all state and territory capitals to take 30 days to lease, a 51% slowdown month-on-month.
  • Perth (up 7.7%), Hobart (up 5.3%) and Adelaide (up 4.9%) were key contributors to the change in the national apartment median rent

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Table 1: Median rent (apartments v houses) and price per room
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Metro area Apartments % change Houses % change Price per room % change
Source: rent.com.au 2020
SYDNEY $520 4% $600 0.80% $275 7.80%
MELBOURNE $426 2.80% $435 1.20% $187 4.10%
BRISBANE $400 0% $450 0% $173 5%
PERTH $350 7.70% $380 0% $133 1.50%
ADELAIDE $320 4.90% $390 -1.30% $143 2.30%
HOBART $395 5.30% $475 -3.10% $175 -3.40%
DARWIN $345 4.50% $475 -5% $150 0%
CANBERRA $490 4.30% $500 0% $230 7.30%
National median $450 2.30% $450 0% $197 3.90%

Price trends in January 2020

Median rents.

Apartment median rents across the country jumped 2.3% to $450/week in January, according to new data from the Australian rental property website, rent.com.au. Perth (up 7.7%), Hobart (up 5.3%) and Adelaide (up 4.9%) were key contributors to the change in national median month-on-month.

Conversely, a 5% decline in Darwin’s house median rent and a 3.1% drop in Hobart metro topped the list for price falls in January.

New South Wales’ capital Sydney began 2020 at the top of the median rent list, unchanged as Australia’s most expensive metro area for renters looking for an apartment ($520/week) or house ($600/week).

The capital’s asking rents are comparable to the country’s most affordable city for apartments in January, Adelaide ($320/week).

Price per room in January 2020

Considering rent.com.au’s room price metric, Perth remained the cheapest place in Australia to rent an individual room in a house at $126/week, despite an 8.6% increase year-on-year.

The 12-month change in price per room showed Hobart to have the biggest reduction in apartment prices, dropping 8.9% to $205/week.

Rent.com.au chief executive officer, Greg Bader said with most reported property data developed for the property owner (i.e. dwelling price), it was important to have an individual measurement that looked at a room price breakdown.

“Our price per room metric is a different way to look at the cost of renting,” he said. “It’s a more accurate representation for people wanting to share a home with others.”

Table 2: 12-month change in price per room (Apartments versus Houses)
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Metro area Apartments % change from JAN 2019 Houses % change from Jan-19
Source: rent.com.au 2020
SYDNEY $335 4.70% $216 8.30%
MELBOURNE $275 8.90% $153 9.50%
BRISBANE $220 -2.20% $148 6.30%
PERTH $210 10.50% $126 8.60%
ADELAIDE $171 7% $133 1.30%
HOBART $205 -8.90% $165 0%
DARWIN $160 -1% $140 -1.20%
CANBERRA $330 1.50% $180 -0.70%
National median $275 3.80% $153 4%

Regional rents.

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 $450/week, despite a 3.2% price fall.

TasmaniaQueenslandWestern Australia and Victoria recorded an increase in the median rent month-on-month, up 10% (TAS), 5.6% (QLD), 2.9% (WA) and 2.7% (VIC).

Median rents remained relatively healthy across the rest of the country, with no change for New South Wales (consistent at $400/week).

Table 3: Regional rents in January 2020
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State/Territory Jan-20 % change from Dec ‘19
Source: rent.com.au 2020
NSW $400 0%
VIC $380 2.70%
QLD $330 5.60%
WA $350 2.90%
SA $270 -5.20%
TAS $330 10%
NT $450 -3.20%
ACT unavail unavail
National median $380 2.70%

Time on market.

“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, due to strong competition, can mean landlords struggle to secure tenants.”

Rent.com.au’s latest report recorded a general increase in the time apartments and houses stayed on market in January. The rental market slowed most significantly in Canberra, where houses took an average of 30 days to shift in January, up from 20 days in December 2019. Looking at apartments, the only state capital where properties shifted off market faster was Hobart, averaging 13 days to lease (2% faster, month-on-month).

Table 4: Days on market in January 2020
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Metro area APARTMENT days on market JAN 2020 % change from DEC 2019 % change from JAN 2019 HOUSES days on market JAN 2020 % change from DEC 2019 % change from JAN 2019
Source: rent.com.au 2020
SYDNEY 37 days 32% slower 5.7% slower 37 days 43% slower 0.1% faster
MELBOURNE 27 days 18% slower 3.7% slower 30 days 32% slower 3.2% slower
BRISBANE 22 days 6% slower 0.3% faster 24 days 10% slower 0.2% faster
PERTH 31 days 3% slower 13.9% faster 29 days 16% slower 16.8% faster
ADELAIDE 21 days 10% slower 22.6% faster 22 days 12% slower 3.8% faster
HOBART 13 days 5% faster 6% faster 20 days 33% slower 23.1% slower
DARWIN 42 days No change 15.2% faster 41 days 30% slower 5.1% faster
CANBERRA 25 days 37% slower 29.7% slower 30 days 51% slower 43.3% slower

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