Rental market snapshot from Rent.com.au - August 2023

Stay ahead of the game with Rent.com.au’s August 2023 report. Get the latest scoop on leasing trends, rental prices, affordability and market news across Australia’s metro and regional areas.

IN SUMMARY  

  • Rising rents in Perth: In August 2023, the median rent for apartments in Perth, WA, increased by 3.8%
  • Diverse price trends for houses: While the median rent for houses in Darwin, NT, surged by 6.6%, showing a significant growth, Sydney, NSW, experienced a 2.5% decrease in median rent for houses, reflecting a more varied market landscape.
  • Sydney’s stable apartment rent: Despite fluctuations in other cities, Sydney, NSW, kept a steady median rent for apartments at $650, with no change in August 2023.
  • National median rent growth: The national median rent for apartments experienced a substantial increase of 6.4%, showing a noteworthy growth in the rental market across the country.
  • Price disparities: Australia’s most affordable homes in August were Adelaide apartments ($430/week), versus $800/week for Sydney houses.

VACANCY RATE CHANGES

  • NSW: Availability DOWN by 9.9%
  • VIC: Availability DOWN by 1.9%
  • QLD: Availability DOWN by 6.3%
  • WA: Availability DOWN by 7%
  • SA: Availability DOWN by 10.7%
  • TAS: Availability DOWN by 4.6%
  • NT: Availability UP by 8%
  • ACT: Availability DOWN by 5.7%

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

Metro areaAPARTMENTSMonthly changeHOUSESMonthly changePRICE PER ROOMMonthly change
Sydney, NSW$6500%$800-2.5%$350-1.4%
Melbourne, VIC$5000%$5401.8%$220-2.2%
Brisbane, QLD$550-1.8%$615-0.8%$215-0.4%
Perth, WA$5203.8%$6000.8%$2000%
Adelaide, SA$430-4.6%$5300.9%$1954.6%
Hobart, TAS$4500%$5501.8%$192-4.1%
Darwin, NT$5220.3%$6756.6%$2214.9%
Canberra, ACT$525-4.7%$6400%$244-2.4%
National median$5906.4%$6000%$257-1.1%
Source: 2023 Rent.com.au property listing data

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PRICE TRENDS 📈

What’s being talked about?

Australia’s rental market is experiencing notable change. An increase in migration and the return of international students combined with record lows in rental stock have created intense competition between newcomers and locals for rental properties, resulting in a surge in rental prices and a frenzy of renters navigating crowded house inspections. This issue continues to catch the attention of the news media, sparking conversations about the need for major reforms in Australia’s rental system.­­

In mid-August, National Cabinet announced plans to improve rental conditions by setting a new housing target and enhancing rental regulations. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met with state and territory leaders in Brisbane to discuss these changes.

The plan focuses on making rental regulations consistent across all states and territories, including implementing uniform criteria for evictions, limiting rent increases to once a year, and gradually implementing minimum rental standards for quality and safety. These changes will ensure that renters are only evicted for reasonable and justifiable reasons, have more predictable financial conditions, and live in safe and high-quality rental properties.

A survey conducted by Anglicare Australia revealed that only a small portion of rentals fall within the budget of essential workers, such as nurses and cleaners. For example, only 507 rental properties were affordable for an aged care worker based on average earnings in that industry, while ambulance workers were priced out of more than 97% of the private rental market. Hospitality workers had even fewer options, with just 424 rentals falling within their affordable range out of 45,895 listings.

Australia’s rental markets had a mixed performance in August 2023. While Sydney and Melbourne remained stable, Adelaide and Darwin saw increases. Hobart had the biggest jump with an 8.6% increase in median rent. Sydney had the highest prices for apartments and houses, while Canberra had the highest room prices. The median price per room across the nation increased by 3.8%.

As of August 2023, the median asking rent for houses is $600 per week, while apartments have increased by 6.4% to $590 per week. The availability of rental properties is being tested, causing more tenants to consider sharing. With limited supply, rents are expected to continue to rise in the short term. In August, the median rent for apartments in Perth, WA, increased by 3.8%.

While the median rent for houses in Darwin, NT, surged by 6.6%, Sydney, NSW, experienced a 2.5% decrease in median rent for houses. Australia’s most affordable homes in August were Adelaide apartments ($430/week), versus $800/week for Sydney houses.

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WHAT WILL A ROOM IN A RENTAL COST ME? 💰

Over the past year, the rental market in Australia has seen significant changes resulting in higher room prices for apartments and houses in major cities. In July 2023, the cost of renting an apartment per room in Canberra rose by 20.3%, reaching a peak of $400 per week. Meanwhile, Sydney experienced a 7.1% increase, with an average of $250 per week for a room. If you’re looking for more affordable options, rooms in Adelaide houses are the most budget-friendly, with a cost of $176 per week in July 2023.

Metro areaAPARTMENTS% change (annual)HOUSES% change (annual)
Sydney, NSW$38311.1%$25010.3%
Melbourne, VIC$30011.2%$17313%
Brisbane, QLD$32016.4%$1877.1%
Perth, WA$30011.6%$18314.6%
Adelaide, SA$2163.2%$18311.1%
Hobart, TAS$2689.1%$185-1.8%
Darwin, NT$2615.6%$2157.5%
Canberra, ACT$360No change$200-6.3%
National median$34715.8%$1959.3%
Source: 2023 Rent.com.au property listing data

HOW ARE THE REGIONS FARING? 🌳

In August 2023, the rental market in regional areas showed a combination of growth and fluctuations. Renters faced significant challenges in affording and maintaining a place to live, especially in regional areas.

According to a study conducted by Renovation Capital, seven out of ten of the least affordable rental areas in Australia were in regional areas. The poorest performing region was the Richmond-Tweed area in northern NSW, also known as the Northern Rivers, which includes towns such as Lismore, Byron Bay, Tweed Heads, Ballina, and Kyogle.

Based on the August data from Rent.com.au, Western Australia experienced the highest increase in rent among all states and territories, with a 14.5% rise per year to reach $550 per week.

South Australia followed closely with a 14.2% annual increase, bringing the median rent to $400 per week. Across the country, the median rent increased by 6.2%, reaching $510 per week.

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Table 3: % change to regional rents in August 2023

State/TerritoryAug-23% change from August ’22
New South Wales$5255%
Victoria$4207.6%
Queensland$55010%
Western Australia$55014.5%
South Australia$40014.2%
Tasmania$4302.3%
Northern Territory$540-1.8%
Aus. Capital TerritoryN/AN/A
National median$5106.2%
Source: 2023 Rent.com.au property listing data

HOW LONG ARE RENTALS TAKING TO LEASE? ⌛

The rental property market in Australia saw changes in leasing time from July to August 2023. Houses in Darwin leased 13% slower in August than in July.

Adelaide apartments were the quickest to lease, averaging only 13 days, while Perth apartments and houses followed closely, averaging 14 days.

Brisbane‘s rental market saw a monthly increase of 9% in leasing time for apartments and 6% for houses. Perth’s market showed apartments taking 1% longer monthly but 11% faster annually, and houses leased 10% faster monthly and 5% faster annually.

Hobart saw a mixed scenario, with apartments leasing 2.3% faster monthly but 63% slower annually, and houses leasing 9% faster monthly and 25% faster annually. Darwin and Canberra remained stable.

Table 4: Monthly and annual change to time on market in August 2023

Metro areaAPARTMENTSMonthly changeAnnual changeHOUSESMonthly changeAnnual change
Sydney, NSW17 days7% faster5% faster21 days2% faster1% faster
Melbourne, VIC19 days6% slower8% faster21 days1% slower5% faster
Brisbane, QLD14 days9% slower17% slower18 days6% slower20% slower
Perth, WA14 days1% slower11% faster14 days10% faster5% faster
Adelaide, SA13 days7% faster6% faster17 days5% faster13% faster
Hobart, TAS28 days2.3% faster63% slower22 days9% faster25% slower
Darwin, NT21 days8% slower34% slower25 days13% slower39% slower
Canberra, ACT23 days4% slower19% slower27 daysNo change26% slower
Source: 2023 Rent.com.au property listing data

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