Rental property website Rent.com.au has released its report for April 2021, 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:

  • Median rents were consistently up in Canberra in April for both apartments (up 2.1% to $465/week) and houses (1.7% to $570/week).
  • Darwin apartments recorded the most significant downward shift in median rents in April, with prices down 5.2% to $360/week.
  • Queensland and Western Australia continue to battle against a rental squeeze, with high demand challenging low supply levels and keeping vacancies low.

Table 1: Median rent (apartments v houses) and price per room

Metro areaApartments% changeHouses% changePrice per room% change
SYDNEY$4700%$600-4.70%$2600%
MELBOURNE$370-1.30%$4392%$1900%
BRISBANE$4000%$4751.30%$175-2.70%
PERTH$385-2.50%$4500%$1600%
ADELAIDE$340-0.50%$4200%$152-0.60%
HOBART$400-1.20%$5001%$186-2.10%
DARWIN$360-5.20%$540-1.80%$175-4.30%
CANBERRA$4652.10%$5701.70%$2423.40%
National median$4100%$4700%$2000%
Source: Rent.com.au property data 2021

You might also like:
Bond loans WA – Fast approval & 21 days interest-free
How to write a rent reduction letter
$1 billion per year (or less) could halve rental housing stress

Price trends in April 2021

Median rents.

The April 2021 data from Rent.com.au show Australia’s rental market is slowly continuing its recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, the figures show that the capital city weighted average showed that apartment and house rents remained unchanged in April, despite some small fluctuations between property types.

House rents rose in Melbourne (up 2% to $439/week), Canberra (up 1.7% to $570/week), Brisbane (up 1.3% to $475/week) and in Hobart (up 1% to $500/week). Prices trended the opposite way for apartments, with Darwin recording the largest decrease of the capitals, down 5.2% month-on-month, followed by Perth (-2.5%) and Canberra (-2.1%).

The data indicates that rental market conditions remain diverse, with some notable differences between both property types and the regions.

Queensland, for example, continues to battle a real rental squeeze, with low vacancy rates forcing many renters to move back in with mum and dad. A mix of expats returning to Queensland, investors moving back into their properties and interstate migration have all been likely contributors to the squeeze in the sunshine state.

Conditions in QLD aren’t unlike those in Western Australia, experiencing a similarly unusual level of demand that supply levels can’t meet. Greg Bader, CEO of Rent.com.au, said that renters would need to be a little more flexible with their suburbs and locations of preference given the current environment. “The search for a home can be pretty stressful; there’s no escaping that. But there are still options available if renters are able and willing to compromise. It may also be worth considering sharing a lease for the short term. Renting with others means you often go up in price and have access to more options.”

Price per room.

Rent.com.au’s price per room measure is another way to look at the cost of renting in Australia. Houses saw the most significant shift in room costs annually, with upward movement in all states and territories. Perth (up 21.4%), Darwin (up 19.3%) and Hobart (up 18.7%) topped the list in April.

The country’s most expensive room prices remain in Canberra for apartments at $350/week and in Sydney for houses ($216/week).

Table 2: 12-month change in price per room (Apartments versus Houses)

Metro areaApartments% change from APR 2020Houses% change from Apr-20
SYDNEY$3000%$2168.30%
MELBOURNE$230-8%$1509.80%
BRISBANE$2250%$15011.10%
PERTH$22513.90%$14121.40%
ADELAIDE$165-5.70%$1374.40%
HOBART$2001.30%$18018.70%
DARWIN$18415.10%$16719.30%
CANBERRA$35025%$20110%
National median$265-1.50%$16110.20%
Source: Rent.com.au property data 2021

You might also like:
1 million people ‘rental-ready’ with their own Renter Resume
Mould and damp: We need a healthy housing agenda
How might COVID change what Australians want from their homes?

Regional rents.

Despite a 4.5% price drop, April’s data showed that regional Northern Territory was the least affordable in the country for the average house hunter, with the median rent now sitting at $475/week.

Price rises across most of the country’s regional areas indicate continued interest in regional centres, as renters continue to seek out space and lifestyle options outside the city. Victoria may have seen the most significant upward change in rents, up 2.8% to $360/week, but the most affordable regional properties could be found in South Australia at $300/week.

Table 3: Regional rents in April 2021

State/TerritoryApr-21% change from MAR 2021
NSW$4402.30%
VIC$3602.80%
QLD$4000%
WA$4002.50%
SA$3002.50%
TAS$3620.60%
NT$475-4.50%
ACTn/an/a
National median$4102.50%
Source: Rent.com.au property data 2021

Time on market.

Rent.com.au’s average time on market measure is designed to provide some context to the movement in median rents across Australia.

The latest time on market data for April 2021 showed that almost all metro areas kept properties on market for longer month-on-month. Canberra apartments recorded the most significant slowdown in time on market in April.

Properties took 18 days on average to shift, which is 22% longer than in March. The most noticeable slowing was in Sydney for houses, which took 19% longer to lease in April, averaging 25 days to move.

Table 4: Time on market in April 2021

Metro areaAPARTMENTS (April 2021)% change from Mar 21% change from Apr 20HOUSES (April 2021)% change from Mar 21% change from Apr 20
SYDNEY33 days14% slower30% slower25 days19% slower2% faster
MELBOURNE42 days8% slower68% slower28 days11% slower7% slower
BRISBANE22 days5% slower7% faster16 days15% slower28% faster
PERTH19 days4% slower21% faster17 days7% slower25% faster
ADELAIDE21 days7% slower7% slower16 days1% slower15% faster
HOBART20 days16% slower5% slower19 days13% slower8% faster
DARWIN19 days10% slower15% faster20 days16% slower37% faster
CANBERRA18 days22% slower3% slower16 days0% change23% faster
Source: Rent.com.au property data 2021

Have tenancy questions? Join the Rent.com.au Community

Rent.com.au

Find your next rental property today on Rent.com.au and get great tips, advice and services. Like the small details? Between Suburb Reviews, WalkScore®, NBN status, commute times and pet-friendliness, we've got everything you need to find your perfect rental.