Melbourne is one of the cheapest places in Australia to rent an apartment or house – but not an individual room, according to a new rental price metric launched by Rent.com.au.

cheapest cities
Rent.com.au heatmap shows median rent affordability in Melbourne, Australia.

The Rent.com.au median room price metric shows that Sydney has the highest rental prices per room at almost $250 a week, followed by Canberra, Darwin and Melbourne.

Median prices



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cheapest cities

The new price metric is a different way to look at the cost of a rental, more accurate in a sense for people that share a home with others.

Much of the existing data about rental properties and prices is based on metrics developed for homeowners, like dwelling price. That in mind, Rent.com.au has introduced the median room price metric.

Interestingly, there are significant differences. For example, the data based on dwellings shows that it costs the same to rent per week in Perth and Melbourne. But that’s not really true. The reality is that it costs renters more than $30 extra per room in Melbourne each week.

The difference between Adelaide and Sydney is more than $120 per room. That extra cost per room has a serious impact for families as well as people who are looking to share a home with other renters. These are the sort numbers – designed specifically for renters, not homeowners – that have so far been hidden from view.

Rent.com.au is dedicated to developing new services designed specifically for Australia’s growing number of renters.



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cheapest citiesHousing affordability

A recent Rent.com.au survey found that long-term security and rental affordability were two of the biggest concerns held by Australian renters, and that families were the most common kind of renters – accounting for 40% of tenants.

Corrabare, NSW mother of three Tabatha, 43, said she had to move further out from the city as rental prices in metro areas increased.

“I’m in a position now where I’ve got a roof over my head, but for how long?” Tabatha said.

“I’ve moved 19 times since 2006. I moved house the day my 7-year-old was born. She’s never had stability. I’ve taught my kids to respect where they live and I take care of the property, but I don’t have a chance compared to renters with no kids.”



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Most renters are families, and they’re worried about long-term security: Rent.com.au survey


Rent.com.au Quarterly Report – October 2016

With thousands of listings added daily by both private landlords and property agents, Rent.com.au has one of the broadest databases of rental properties in Australia today. Rent.com.au has compiled a report based on property listing data from the July – September quarter (Q3) which illustrates the shift in median rental property prices (both metro and regional), rental affordability and search trends.

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Metro summary
The average median rent across the country remained marginally stable at $404 for Q3 with only a 0.3 per cent increase from Quarter 2 (Q2).
Only one of the top Australian capitals saw an increase in median rent; Adelaide recorded a 3 per cent increase in its median rent from $330 in Q2 to $340 in Q3. Conversely, Sydney recorded a decrease; the New South Wales capital saw rents drop 1.9 per cent from Q2 to Q3, with median rents now sitting at $520.

Sydney still is the most expensive Australian city with affordability per room sitting at $248/pw whilst Perth is the most affordable capital city for renters at a median of $130/pw.

By looking at dwelling type, Sydney continued to be skewed towards apartments comprising 58.6 per cent, while Perth’s property makeup was 73.8 per cent houses.

Looking at Rent.com.au’s Q3 search data, which is indicative of suburb desirability, Melbourne CBD was the highest searched suburb, followed by Adelaide, Perth and Sydney CBD. This indicates Australia’s inner CBD areas are hot across all major capitals.

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Rents across the regions
On a regional level, both Queensland and Western Australia saw an increase in their median rent across the quarter to $340 and $350, accordingly. Median rents remained healthy across the rest of the country, with no change in prices for NSW ($350), SA ($250) and Victoria ($270).

Renters could find the cheapest rentals in SA’s regional areas in Q3, with a median rent of $250 per week.



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