2023 has seen Australians grappling with a challenging rental market and limited supply.

Experts consider a healthy market to have an average vacancy rate of 3.5%, providing choices for renters and enough supply to keep prices stable. however this year we saw monthly national averages hover in the 1-1.2% rate, with vacancies at all-time lows.

Why has the year been so challenging?

To say the property market took Australians by surprise in 2023 is an understatement and is largely a combination of many factors. Historical under investment in social and affordable housing, increased population, trade/supply shortages in the construction industry, slowing new builds and consistent interest rate rises have all contributed to a supply shortage and the inevitable upwards pressure on rental costs.

What’s the outlook for Australia’s housing market in 2024?

Unfortunately, 2024 isn’t shaping up to be any better for renters. Whilst Federal and State governments are starting to tackle the shortage and have committed to a combined target to build 1.2 million homes, these measures take time and in the short term we will expect vacancy rates and rental prices to remain at close to current levels. We know that 32% of us rent and we know that it is tough, a small positive is that housing and cost of living pressures are now front and centre in the media and likely to remain a key political challenge that needs to be resolved.