How is the cost of renting changing in your city? Rent.com.au has released the latest market data for August 2022, including the shift in median rent, price per room and leasing time. Download the full report here.

IN SUMMARY 📜

  • The plight for renters is real: 54% fewer properties were available nationally in August 2022 than at the height of the pandemic in April 2020, with the most significant falls in WA, QLD and SA.
  • Australia’s rental markets have been tightening further, with vacancy rates for apartments and houses extremely low across the country.
  • Overall Australian capital apartment prices rose 1% over the past month and 1.8% higher for houses.

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

Metro areaAPARTMENTSMonthly changeHOUSESMonthly changePRICE PER ROOMMonthly change
Sydney, NSW$5500.90%$7000%$3000%
Melbourne, VIC$4200%$4700%$197-1.50%
Brisbane, QLD$4602.20%$5600%$196-0.50%
Perth, WA$4351.10%$5000%$1750%
Adelaide, SA$3950%$4800%$173-1.10%
Hobart, TAS$430-4.40%$5450.90%$2050%
Darwin, NT$5006.30%$6000%$200-4.70%
Canberra, ACT$535-2.70%$675-0.70%$250-9.90%
National median$4801%$5401.80%$2250%
Source: 2022 Rent.com.au property listing data

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PRICE TRENDS

As most of us know, Aussie renters are being hit by a particularly challenging set of circumstances right now. We’re talking rising rental costs and low availability – and it’s a mix that’s leaving some in impossible situations and many forced into homelessness.

It’s a dismal reality for those most affected and looking for practical options that can offer some (or any) sense of relief.

Even with closed borders and no overseas migrant arrivals for more than two years, Australia’s population is growing. People are setting up households, creating new demand for accommodation, particularly rentals. And renters will likely be renting for longer than expected, with higher interest rates reducing their buying power.

A rough combination of increasing rental demand and insufficient rental supply has created an acute rental shortage, and it’s not improving.

In August, the Greens were busy pitching several ideas related to housing affordability and living standards. First and foremost, they’d like to kill no-grounds evictions, introduce a cap on rent price hikes (2% every two years) and broaden tenant rights.

But the biggest proposal from the party is a desire for Australia to implement a two-year freeze on rent price increases to combat the effects of the nationwide housing crisis. Under the Residential Tenancies Accommodation (Rent Freeze) Amendment Bill, landlords could only rent their property at the amount for which it was rented out on 1 August. That rate would remain the same for the next two years, even if there’s a new tenant or the home has since been renovated. After two years, rents could only increase by 2% every 24 months.

As Australia’s Jobs and Skills Summit kicks off today, discussions around the cost of living and affordability will likely keep coming up. Back in July, the media reported Australia’s rental cost increase rate was the highest in 14 years. And while some of this is related to the higher interest rates and cost of inflation, there are also opportunistic landlords around who are adding to this pressure.

As a renter, the only limit regarding the degree to which a landlord could increase your rent is a caveat that the increase shouldn’t be ‘excessive.’ There’s no percentage-based cap, unfortunately – it wouldn’t go awry right now.

For renters – if you feel your landlord is unnecessarily squeezing you, you can always bring the problem to the official body in your state: NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), Queensland Civil & Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), Western Australia Consumer Protection, South Australia Consumer & Business Services (CBS), Tasmania Consumer, Building & Occupational Services (CBOS), Northern Territory Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NTCAT) and ACT Civil & Administrative Tribunal (ACAT).

Looking at August’s median rent data, the most affordable metro capital was Adelaide, where apartment rents were $395 a week. Darwin was one of the few capitals to record a significant increase in median apartment rents month-on-month, rising 6.3% to $500 weekly.

WHAT WILL A ROOM IN A RENTAL COST ME? 💰

The price per room metric provides an alternate perspective on the cost of renting space within a property in Australia.

Apartment rooms today cost 14.3% more on average than they did back in August 2021 (12 months ago), with the steepest of all changes recorded in Melbourne – up 22.2% to $275 a week.

Canberra also recorded an annual jump of 21.4%, bringing the price per room for the ACT capital to $420 a week. Room prices in Perth apartments rose for the third consecutive month, up 7.1% to $250 a week in August.

A room in a Canberra apartment will set renters back $420 a week (up 21.4% month-on-month) – the most expensive of all metro areas in August 2022.

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

Metro areaAPARTMENTS% change (annual)HOUSES% change (annual)
Sydney, NSW$34013.30%$2265.40%
Melbourne, VIC$27522.20%$1539.50%
Brisbane, QLD$26610%$17512%
Perth, WA$2507.10%$16010.30%
Adelaide, SA$2008.10%$1609.10%
Hobart, TAS$2458.90%$19311.50%
Darwin, NT$25019%$1948.90%
Canberra, ACT$42021.40%$2122.80%
National median$30014.30%$17610.40%
Source: 2022 Rent.com.au property listing data

HOW ARE THE REGIONS FARING? 🌳

Rents were up 1% across Australia’s regional areas in August. According to the Regional Movers Index, created in partnership between the Regional Institute of Australia (RAI) and the Commonwealth Bank, the number of people moving from cities to the regions fell by 16.5% from June to August.

However, the level of net migration is still more than pre-pandemic regional migration numbers. In Victoria, Moorabool was one of the top five Local Government Areas to see a growth in migration. Economists say housing remains a significant issue.

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Much of the recent regional growth has been in the areas adjacent to the major capital city boundaries. In August, regional Northern Territory led the pace of growth, recording a month-on-month increase of 7.8% to $550 a week. Increases were also recorded in Western Australia (up 4.3%), South Australia (up 3%), Queensland (up 2%) and Victoria (up 1.3%).

Table 3: % change to regional rents in August 2022

State/TerritoryAug-22% change from August '21
New South Wales$5000%
Victoria$3901.30%
Queensland$5002%
Western Australia$4804.30%
South Australia$3403%
Tasmania$4200%
Northern Territory$5507.80%
Aus. Capital TerritoryN/AN/A
National median$4751%
Source: 2022 Rent.com.au property listing data

HOW LONG ARE RENTALS TAKING TO LEASE?

Rent.com.au’s average time on market measure is designed to explain the movement in median rents across Australia. The 16 median days to lease a property in Darwin in August was 15% faster than in July – and the most significant change to time on market for both property types across the board.

Canberra houses stayed on the market the longest in August, averaging 23 days listed on Rent.com.au before leasing. Annually, the most significant change was recorded in Brisbane, with apartments leasing 38% quicker than in August 2021.

Table 4: Monthly and annual change to time on market

Metro areaAPARTMENTSMonthly changeAnnual changeHOUSESMonthly changeAnnual change
Sydney, NSW19 days3% faster33% faster21 daysNo change6.7% faster
Melbourne, VIC20 days1% faster40% faster22 days5% slower15% faster
Brisbane, QLD12 days2% slower38% faster15 days9% slower1% slower
Perth, WA16 days1% slower20% faster15 days5% faster12% faster
Adelaide, SA14 days5% faster31% faster15 days10% faster20% faster
Hobart, TAS17 days2% slower5% faster17 days10% faster10% slower
Darwin, NT16 days15% faster15% faster18 days7% faster19% faster
Canberra, ACT20 daysNo change10% slower23 days11% slower20% slower
Source: 2022 Rent.com.au property listing data
Rent.com.au

Rent.com.au is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Rent.com.au Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, Rent.com.au has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.

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