How is the cost of renting changing in your city? has released the latest market data for December 2021, including the shift in median rent, price per room and leasing time. Download the full report here.

In summary… πŸ“œ

  • In December, the biggest changes to rental property availability month-on-month were seen in SA (down 18.9 per cent), TAS (down 14.3 per cent) and in the ACT, down 13.6 per cent.
  • Median apartment rents were still up by 1.2 per cent across the country in December, now $430 a week.
  • Regional rents were up again, rising 2.2 per cent month-on-month to $450 per week

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

Metro areaApartments% changeHouses% changePrice per room% change
National median$4301.20%$4951%$2050%
Source: 2021

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Price trends (December ’21)

How median rents are changing πŸ‘‡

Rental growth in apartments has largely been milder than houses. Apartments have been disproportionately affected by stalled overseas migration and met by rental preferences shifting away from higher density options throughout the 2021 pandemic season. That said, these trends are starting to change as affordability diverts some demand back towards apartments.

Nationally, median weekly advertised rents increased by 1.2% for apartments over the month to December 2021 and by 1% for houses, a jump driven by stock tightening and declines in new and total rental listings. For major cities like Sydney and Melbourne, 2021 saw sharp declines in demand and prices once excess stock swamped the rental market and increased vacancy rates.

As borders continue to reopen across most parts of Australia, excess stock in the inner-city should reduce, as migrants come back and occupy those properties in the major capitals. While the outlook is for higher demand in the coming months, rental prices may likely ease with the increase in stock from more investors returning to market.

In December 2021, the median weekly asking price for rents across all capital cities was $430 per week for apartments and $495 for houses. Sydney held onto its title with the country’s most unaffordable houses at $650 per week, met by apartments in Canberra at $515 per week. Considering December’s median rent data, the most affordable metro capital was Adelaide, where apartments now sit at $370 per week. The biggest changes in rental property availability month-on-month were seen in South Australia (down 18.9 per cent), Tasmania (down 14.3 per cent) and in the Australian Capital Territory, down 13.6 per cent.

What will a room in a rental cost me? πŸ’°’s price per room measure offers another way to look at the cost of renting in Australia. Looking at the 12-month change to room prices, both apartments and houses recorded notable room price increases in September, up 7.2 per cent and 7.5 per cent, respectively.

Room prices were up in all states and territories for houses in December. The most significant cost shifts were found in Hobart (up 14.2 per cent to $197 per week), Darwin (up 11 per cent to $193 per week) and in Brisbane (up 10 per cent to $165 per week). Australia’s priciest rooms were Canberra apartments at $315 per week and houses at $216 per week.

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

Metro areaApartments% change from DEC 2020Houses% change from Dec-20
National median$2607.20%$1667.50%
Source: data (2021)

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How are the regions faring? 🌳

Australia’s regions surged again in December, with the national median rent price now $450 per week, up 2.2 per cent. Regional communities have faced ongoing pressure this last month, with surges in prices and tightening stock, undoubtedly fueled, in part by the ongoing popularity of renting in non-metropolitan locations.

As international borders reopen and some of Australia’s previously dispersed renters make a return in the coming months, bigger cities like Sydney and Melbourne should make a comeback and ease pressure on struggling regional markets.

New South Wales recorded the most significant change, up 4.3 per cent to $480 per week in December. The Northern Territory remains the least affordable of all states and territories, with the median tipping $500 per week.

Table 3: Regional rents in December 2021

State/TerritoryDec-21% change from NOV 2021
National median$4502.20%
Source: 2021

How long are rentals taking to lease? βŒ›’s average time on market measure is designed to explain the movement in median rents across Australia. The month-on-month change to property leasing was most noticeable in Darwin, where houses moved 20% per cent slower than in November 2021 – now averaging 20 days to lease.

In December, apartments were picking up pace in Adelaide, shifting 16 per cent faster than in November. Over in Hobart, houses moved quickest of all property types, taking only 13 days to rent (16 per cent faster, month-on-month).

Melbourne’s inner-city, apartment-heavy market continues to lag. Apartments were once again on the market longer than any other metro area in December, taking an average of 30 days to lease. Melbourne’s advertised stock levels are above average, prompting a more obvious slow down relative to cities that have persistently low advertised supply, like Perth, Brisbane, and Adelaide.

Metro areaAPARTMENTS (Dec 2021)% change from Nov Β‘21% change from Dec Β‘20HOUSES (Dec 2021)% change from Nov Β‘21% change from Dec Β‘20
SYDNEY26 days1% slower13% faster21 days3% slower1% faster
MELBOURNE30 days14% faster28% faster22 days8% faster5% faster
BRISBANE18 days10% faster22% faster14 days5% faster4% faster
PERTH18 days12% slower6% faster16 daysNo change1% faster
ADELAIDE16 days16% faster28% faster14 days7% faster5% faster
HOBART14 daysNo change30% faster13 days16% faster14% faster
DARWIN23 days10% slower16% slower20 days20% slower34% slower
CANBERRA16 daysNo change1% slower16 days13% slower13% slower
Source: data (2021)

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