Property leasing data released by Rent.com.au for the October to December quarter (Q4 2018) illustrates the shift in Australian median rental property prices (both metro and regional), rental affordability (the median room price metric) and the price of walkability in each state and territory capital.

Q4 Highlights:

  • Canberra saw an increase in median rents for both apartments (up 4.5% to $460/week) and houses (up 1.8% to $540/week).
  • Apartment prices remained relatively stable in the latest report, with no change recorded in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or Adelaide quarter-on-quarter.
  • Sydney once again topped the list for rental prices in Q4 for both apartments and houses $520/week and $600/week, respectively).
How the states and territories compared in Q4 2018
Median rent (apartments v houses) and price per room
SOURCE: RENT.COM.AU © 2018
Metro area Apartments % change Houses % change
SYDNEY $520 -3.7% $600 0%
MELBOURNE $410 0% $430 +2.3%
BRISBANE $400 0% $430 +2.3%
PERTH $320 0% $365 +1.3%
ADELAIDE $300 0% $380 +2.7%
HOBART $382 +12.5% $430 -0.5%
DARWIN $350 -4.1% $472 +0.5%
CANBERRA $462 +4.5% $540 +1.8%
National median $450 0% $440 +2.3%

Price trends

Median rents.

Rents in the fourth quarter of 2018 were consistent with median rental data from a quarter ago, according to new data from Rent.com.au. But renting a house in many of the country’s state and territory capitals has become slightly more expensive, up 2.3% from Q3 2018.

“Momentum was pretty well in line with what we’d expect for rental seasonality,” Rent.com.au CEO Greg Bader said. “Even so, there wasn’t a pronounced shift in the big-picture story which may come in the next quarter. We’re about to enter a period of seasonally faster apartment and house leasing that comes with the January period as leases end, jobs change, and people look at moving for school and university.”

The Quarter 4 (Q4) 2018 report showed a relatively steady market, with median apartment rents stable nationally. Houses experienced more movement towards the end of 2018; median rents climbed in six of the eight capital cities. These included Melbourne (up 2.3% to $430/week), Brisbane (up 2.3% to $430/week), Perth (up 1.3% to $365/week), Adelaide (up 2.7% to $380/week), Darwin (up 0.5% to $472/week) and in Canberra (up 1.8% to $540/week).

“Despite Perth house rents slowly rising, (up 1.3% in Q4), reluctant demand from investors and a significant oversupply of new apartments mean prospects for significant growth in the Perth market may still be a few years away,” Mr Bader said. “Given Hobart’s relatively strong rental market, met with the recovery of the market (driven largely through tourism) and continued population growth, rents have also been rising strongly in the TAS capital. As for Sydney’s market in Q4, apartment rents fell 3.7% to $520/week in Q4, while house rents were unchanged from Q3 at $600/week.”

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Price per room.

Considering RENT’s price per room metric, Darwin experienced the most movement in room prices towards the end of 2018. The NT capital saw a 6% rise in the price per room for apartments, now $175/week. Despite this robust movement in the top end, price changes were minimal across the remainder of the country, bringing national room costs down 1.8% to $265/week, while houses stayed flat.

Nationally, the cost of renting a room was highest – unsurprisingly perhaps – in Sydney at $266/week. In Q4, the cheapest room prices could be found in Perth, a median $125/week.

Apartment, House and National Price per Room
% change between Q3 2018 and Q4 2018
SOURCE: RENT.COM.AU © 2018

Metro area Apartments % change from Q3 2018 Houses % change from Q3 2018 Price per room (national) % change from Q3 2018
SYDNEY $315 0% $198 -0.2% $266 -3.2%
MELBOURNE $250 -2.9% $138 +3.7% $175 0%
BRISBANE $230 +2.2% $135 +1.2% $160 +1%
PERTH $190 0% $116 +2.9% $125 +1.3%
ADELAIDE $155 -3.1% $126 +1.3% $133 0%
HOBART $210 +5% $153 +4.5% $163 +3.1%
DARWIN $175 +6% $150 +4.6% $150 -2.1%
CANBERRA $310 -1.5% $173 +1.9% $208 +1.6%
National median $265 -1.8% $145 +3.5% $186 0%

Regional rents.

In the regions, median rents were kept largely stable in Q4. Rents rose incrementally on a national level, up 2.7% to $370/week on the previous quarter.

Only two states recorded an increased from Q3 2018. In Queensland, regional median rents climbed 2.7% to $370/week and further ahead in Western Australia, up 3% to $340/week. South Australia was the only state to record a drop in its median rent, down 2.8%.

Regional Rents
% change between Q3 2018 and Q4 2018
SOURCE: RENT.COM.AU © 2018

State/Territory Q3 2018 Q4 2018 % change
NSW $400 $400 0%
VIC $300 $300 0%
QLD $360 $370 +2.7%
WA $330 $340 +3%
SA $267 $260 -2.8%
TAS $295 $295 0%
NT $450 $450 0%
ACT unavailable unavailable unavailable
National median $360 $370 +2.7%

Days on market.

The most noticeable shift in days on market quarter-on-quarter was in Hobart houses, which took 13.8 days on average to lease, 23.3% faster than in Q3 2018.

The most significant slowdown in Q4 was in Canberra; houses moved 16.4% slower than they did in Q3 2018. The ACT capital’s high-income earning workforce has helped to drive rents higher, making it increasingly unaffordable for lower-income households.

Days on market
% change in no. days on market (Apartments v Houses)
SOURCE: RENT.COM.AU © 2018
Metro area APARTMENTS days on market % change from Q32018 % change from Q4 2017 HOUSES days on market % change from Q3 2018 % change from Q4 2017
SYDNEY 25.9 days -0.4% +18.8% 25.9 days -4.1% +17.2%
MELBOURNE 21.2 days +1.9% -2.9% 22.1 days -3.9% +0.6%
BRISBANE 23.8 days -1.5% -13.9% 23 days -5.2% -10.2%
PERTH 34.8 days -5.3% -14.7% 30.8 days -13.8% -18.2%
ADELAIDE 21.8 days -8.9% -12.2% 21.7 days -9.9% -1.2%
HOBART 12.3 days -21.7% +4.9% 13.8 days -23.3% -0.9%
DARWIN 41.7 days +11% +10.1% 33.9 days -10.3% +10.4%
CANBERRA 16 days +5.4% -5.2% 15.8 days -16.4% -7.1%

Walk Score® – The price of walkability

Median rent.

Rent.com.au compared its Walk Score® data to its median rent price to identify price trends in areas with varying levels of walkability in Q4 2018. Renters seeking bargain accommodation would have found the most affordable Walker’s Paradise apartments in Tasmania, according to the Q4 data. Walker’s Paradise apartments cost an average of $380/week to rent in TAS. Next most walkable (and affordable) was Western Australia at $390/week.

APARTMENTS: Median Rent meets Walkability in Q4 2018

Walk Score

NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS NT ACT

Car Dependent

$335 $310 $295 $290 $255 $260 $360 $390
Somewhat Walkable $440 $340 $330 $290 $275 $250 $380

$410

Very Walkable $490 $380 $375 $315 $295 $310 $440

$450

Walker’s Paradise $570 $470 $430 $390 $400 $380 $430

$480

The most affordable median rent for a Walker’s Paradise house in Q4 was $450/week in South Australia. Western Australia followed close behind ($460/week), followed by Queensland and Tasmania (both $470/week). Houses in New South Wales remained priciest, topping the list at $795/week for a Walker’s Paradise home.

HOUSES: Median Rent meets Walkability in Q4 2018

Walk Score

NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS NT ACT

Car Dependent

$449 $375 $385 $350 $320 $320 $490 $500

Somewhat Walkable

$460 $395 $395 $360 $355 $320 $475

$520

Very Walkable $550 $450 $420 $390 $390 $390 $400

$500

Walker’s Paradise $795 $610 $470 $460 $450 $470 $520

$550


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