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An index that measures rental affordability relative to household income has found Hobart is the least affordable capital city in Australia for tenants.

The Tassie capital pushed past Sydney to take on the unenviable title of the country’s most unaffordable capital in the May Rental Affordability Index (RAI), with 29% of household income being required to pay rent and an RAI of 102, which is classed as ‘moderately unaffordable rent’.

The RAI is a biannual index released by National Shelter, Community Sector Banking and SGS Economics & Planning, which measures rental affordability relative to household income.

Sydney isn’t far behind Hobart, requiring 27% income and an RAI of 113, while Adelaide requires 26% and an RAI of 117. Both state capitals are also deemed moderately unaffordable.

For lower-income households, Sydney and Canberra, in particular, have high levels of rental stress, as median incomes here are higher than the national average.

Hobart no longer a bargain for renters

From being seen as an affordable alternative to Australia’s mainland cities, Hobart’s recent real estate sales boom, factored in with low incomes, a surge in former rental properties being offered as short-term accommodation and a tourism burst, has pushed it right to the top of the RAI.

The median rental household in Greater Hobart has a gross income of $61,300 per annum, the report said, and now faces rents at around 29% of its total income.

“Areas such as Hobart, Sandy Bay, West, South and North Hobart, Kingston, Margate and Sorell are unaffordable to the median household,” it read.

“Low incomes and an inadequate supply of rental housing continue to drive this decline in rental affordability in Hobart. As evidenced in the consistent unavailability of bond lodgement data in many areas of Hobart, such as the City of Clarence, there have been few new rentals in these areas over recent quarters.”

A real-time picture of renting in Australia

New data from Rent.com.au shows it costs renters an average of $400 a week to rent in Hobart. Sydney is the most expensive capital city with asking rents for housing still $560 a week. Next highest is Canberra at 580 per week, Search for rentals on Rent.com.auat $450, with Adelaide the second most affordable capital city, next to Perth at $350 a week.

Key metropolitan area trends over the past 12 months:

  • Median Hobart house rents rose from $380/week to $440/week;
  • Median Hobart apartment rents rose from $320/week to $350/week;
  • For sharehousers, the price-per-room for a spot in Hobart rose from $143/week to $165/week
  • The overall median Hobart median rent rose from $365/week to $400/week.

The 10 Tassie suburbs/towns with the biggest rise in median rents over the last 12 months

Suburb / town Postcode Apr-17 Apr-18 % change
Blackmans Bay 7052 $380 $470 39.40%
Claremont 7011 $250 $348 39.20%
Ulverstone 7315 $235 $285 21.30%
Howrah 7018 $365 $435 19.20%
Glenorchy 7010 $300 $356 18.70%
Berriedale 7011 $340 $380 11.80%
West Hobart 7000 $450 $500 11.10%
Launceston 7250 $280 $295 5.40%
George Town 7253 $195 $202 3.58%
Kingston 7050/51 $372 $382 2.68%

Want more information?

For more information from Rent.com.au or to organise an interview with Rent.com.au CEO, Greg Bader, contact Daniel Paproth at Media & Capital Partners on daniel.paproth@mcpartners.com.au or phone +61 421 858 982.


Looking for rentals in Hobart, Tasmania?

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