Rent.com.au has released its latest report for August 2018 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.

Monthly Highlights:

  • The cost of renting a room has increased across the country with a rise in the national median rent for apartments up 2.9%, while house rents jumped 0.7% year-on-year.
  • Canberra metro was the only capital city to see median rents climb for all property types.
  • Six of eight state/territory capitals have median house rents above $400 a week.
  • The most significant fall in the cost of rooms (overall) was in Darwin, down 6.2% from July.

How the states and territories compared in August 2018
Median rent (apartments v houses) and price per room
SOURCE: RENT.COM.AU © 2018

Metro area Apartments % change Houses % change Price per room % change
SYDNEY $530 ↓1.9% $600 0% $275 ↑0.9%
MELBOURNE $410 0% $420 0% $173 ↑0.5%
BRISBANE $400 0% $425 ↑1.2% $158 ↓1.2%
PERTH $320 0% $360 0% $123 ↑0.8%
ADELAIDE $295 ↓1.7% $370 0% $133 0%
HOBART $350 ↑2.9% $430 ↓4.4% $157 ↓0.6%
DARWIN $380 0% $450 ↓8.2% $150 ↓6.2%
CANBERRA $450 ↑5.9% $540 ↑5.9% $200 ↓2.4%
National median $450 0% $430 0% $186 0.5%

PRICE TRENDS

Median rents.

Across Australia’s metro areas, rents stayed flat in August. In a shift from its July trajectory, Canberra was the only capital to record an increase in median rent across all property types, with rents this month up 5.9% for apartments and houses, respectively.

It wasn’t too long ago that it was being commonly reported that Sydney had a severe housing shortage (due, by and large, to strong demand for properties and insufficient supply), a mismatch which had the effect of bidding up prices. But markets have a way of self-correcting and, as we’ve noted in recent reports, this is what appears to be happening in the NSW capital. In August, Sydney apartment rents fell 1.9% to $530 a week, which is hardly drastic, but it’s now the second month in a row prices have fallen since prices peaked at $550 a week in May.

Rent.com.au Chief Executive Officer, Greg Bader said that despite a year-on-year increase in rental volume, median rents aren’t changing too radically. “It has been well reported that Sydney’s housing market is flattening, and prices are dropping, so with high levels of stock and high vacancies, it’s likely rental rates are going to follow suit,” he said.

“Demand for properties in Sydney metro is softer than it once was, and while this is starting to have a pronounced impact on housing prices, rental rates have plateaued. With a greater supply of available rental accommodation, it’s likely that rents will eventually start to slip and make for a far friendlier renter’s market.”

Price per room.

The cost of renting a room in Australia has increased year-on-year, with the most noticeable change in apartment rents. The national median for apartments in Australia’s metro areas was $283 a week in August, up 2.9% from 12 months back. Across the state and territory capitals, the biggest jump was in Hobart room prices, an 18.4% rise year-on-year with rooms now priced around $231 a week. House prices, on the other hand, didn’t move far – only rising 0.7%. Houses in Canberra saw the biggest drop in price per room, down 9% to $181 a week. In August, the cheapest room for renters would be in a Perth house – just $116 a week.

Price per room year-on-year: Apartments v Houses
SOURCE: RENT.COM.AU © 2018

Metro area Apartments % change from AUG 2017 Houses % change from
AUG 2017
SYDNEY $328 ↑3.1% $200 0%
MELBOURNE $265 ↑1.1% $133 0%
BRISBANE $240 ↑4.3% $135 ↑1.5%
PERTH $218 ↑11.7% $116 ↑2.6%
ADELAIDE $155 0% $126 ↑0.8%
HOBART $231 ↑18.4% $150 ↑0.8%
DARWIN $165 ↓5.7% $150 0%
CANBERRA $322 ↓2.4% $181 ↑9%
National median $283 2.9% $143 0.7%


Regional rents.

Regional rents shifted in just three of eight capital cities in August. Price rises were recorded in South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. The most significant of the three was SA – a rise of 1.8% to a median of $270 a week. Renting in the NT’s regions remains the most expensive option for house hunters around Australia with a median rent of $450 a week, followed closely by New South Wales at $400 a week. SA recorded the cheapest regional rent prices – a comparable bargain at just $270 a week.

Regional Rents
% change between July 2018 and August 2018
SOURCE: RENT.COM.AU © 2018

State/Territory July 2018 August 2018 % change
NSW $400 $400 0%
VIC $300 $300 0%
QLD $360 $360 0%
WA $330 $330 0%
SA $265 $270 ↑1.8%
TAS $295 $300 ↑1.6%
NT $445 $450 ↑1.1%
ACT unavailable unavailable unavailable
National median $360 $360 0%

 

Days on market.

Apartments took longer to shift in Perth than in any other state or territory capital in August, taking 38 days (up 5% month-on-month and 11% year-on-year). However, apartments moved fastest in Hobart (just 17 days). Canberra houses were fastest to lease on leave Rent.com.au in August (taking around 17 days on site) against a slowdown for Darwin (43 days, 28% longer than July).

Conditions look to be slowly improving in Perth, with houses now moving 9% faster year-on-year and averaging 37 days before coming off market.

Days on market
% change in no. days on market (Apartments v Houses)
SOURCE: RENT.COM.AU © 2018

Metro area APARTMENTS days on market August 2018 % change from July 2018 % change from August 2017 HOUSES days on market August 2018 % change from July 2018 % change from August 2017
SYDNEY 25 ↓7% ↑25% 26 ↓3% ↑19%
MELBOURNE 22 ↑10% ↑5% 23 0% ↑2%
BRISBANE 25 ↑10% ↓10% 24 ↓3% ↑4%
PERTH 38 ↑5% ↓11% 37 ↑4% ↓9%
ADELAIDE 25 ↑1% ↓5% 25 ↑3% ↑7%
HOBART 17 ↑20% ↑63% 20 ↑10% ↑43%
DARWIN 37 ↓8% ↓1% 43 ↑28% ↑8%
CANBERRA 16 ↑3% ↑8% 17 ↓1% ↑6%

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