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

In summary… 📜

  • In February, the most significant changes to rental property availability month-on-month were seen in the ACT, down 25.9 per cent, SA, down 17.4 per cent and QLD, down 14 per cent.
  • Median apartment rents were up by 2.3 per cent across the country, now $450 a week.
  • Considering the month-on-month change, the number of advertised properties across Australia in February 2022 dropped by 11.2 per cent.

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

Metro areaApartments% changeHouses% changePrice per room% change
SYDNEY$5000%$6500%$2750%
MELBOURNE$3952.60%$4500%$1950%
BRISBANE$4300%$5300%$1930%
PERTH$4102.50%$4802.10%$1702.40%
ADELAIDE$3700%$4500%$1660%
HOBART$4100%$5403.80%$2063%
DARWIN$4402.30%$6000.80%$1960%
CANBERRA$5200%$6252.50%$2600%
National median$4502.30%$5000%$2130.50%
Source: Rent.com.au property data 2022

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Price trends (February 2022)

How median rents are changing 👇

It seems the days of snagging a pandemic rental bargain could be well over in most locations, with the opening of the country’s international borders expected to skyrocket demand and competition for homes. On 21 February, the Australian Government opened the borders and welcomed double-vaccinated tourists and visa holders.

But the latest overseas arrival data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows total arrivals to Australia started rising sharply weeks earlier, as international students, permanent residents and Australian citizens were welcomed back. Rental demand from this cohort of migrants is likely to be most concentrated across the inner-city precincts of the country’s capitals and within proximity to academic hubs.

The rental market was the most negatively impacted by Australia’s border closures, but recovery has been underway in most regions since 2021. Available rentals are already at critically low levels in some areas around the country.

Rent.com.au’s February data found that capital city apartment rents have soared by 2.3% over the past month. The Western Australian capital has seen the weekly rent for apartments rise to $410 per week (up 2.5 per cent from January), overtaking Melbourne, which has an average weekly rent of $395, Rent.com.au’s data found. On average, renters must shell out $450 a week around Australia to rent an apartment; for houses, the average is $500. House rents jumped in Perth, Hobart, Canberra, and Darwin too.

This year’s explosion in demand for rentals has prompted a few cheeky media opportunities that have gone viral. Aussie comedian Tom Cashman had his rental application cancelled after requesting previous tenants provide a reference for the landlord. His reference request was, somewhat surprisingly, supported by the head of the Real Estate Institute of Australia, but he acknowledged it was a tough ask in a competitive market.

Considering February’s median rent data, the most affordable metro capital was Adelaide, where apartments remain at $370 per week. The most significant changes in rental property availability month-on-month were seen in the Australian Capital Territory, down 25.9 per cent, South Australia, down 17.4 per cent and Queensland, down 14 per cent.

What will a room in a rental cost me? 💰

Rent.com.au’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 February, up 12 per cent and 8.5 per cent, respectively.

Room prices were up in all states and territories for both property types in February 2022. The most significant cost shifts were Canberra apartments (up 24.2 per cent to $387 per week), Darwin apartments (up 24 per cent to $225 per week) and Darwin houses (up 17 per cent to $190 per week).

The country’s most expensive rooms in a rental could be found in Canberra apartments with a price per room of $387 a week.

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

Metro areaApartments% change from FEB 2021Houses% change from FEB 2021
SYDNEY$32515.20%$2238.10%
MELBOURNE$25011.10%$1537%
BRISBANE$2508.70%$16511.20%
PERTH$2455.60%$1509.10%
ADELAIDE$1979.70%$1556.90%
HOBART$24712.50%$20514%
DARWIN$22524%$19017%
CANBERRA$38724.20%$2106.80%
National median$28012%$1708.50%
Source: Rent.com.au 2022 property data

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How are the regions faring? 🌳

While affordability, lifestyle and robust infrastructure will continue to pull more capital city renters over to the regions, the reintroduction of overseas travel with borders reopening is expected to see a moderation in regional migration.

Regional rents remained mostly stable month-on-month but showed growth only in South Australia. As international borders have now reopened and some of Australia’s previously dispersed renters return, larger capitals like Sydney and Melbourne should make a comeback and ease pressure on struggling regional markets.

In January, Tasmania recorded the most significant change, down 4.7 per cent to $400 per week. The Northern Territory remains the least affordable of all states and territories, with the median rent tipping $522 a week.

Table 3: Regional rents in February 2022

State/TerritoryFeb 2022% change from Jan 2022
NSW$4800%
VIC$3800%
QLD$4500%
WA$4500%
SA$3303.10%
TAS$400-4.70%
NT$522-1.40%
ACTn/an/a
National median$4500%
Source: Rent.com.au 2022 property 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 month-on-month change to property leasing was most noticeable in Hobart, where apartments moved 40% per cent slower than in January – now averaging 17 days to lease.

In February, apartments were picking up pace in Sydney, shifting 34 per cent faster than in January – now 21 days. Over in Adelaide, houses moved quickest of all property types, taking just 13 days on average to rent (16 per cent faster, month-on-month).

Metro areaAPARTMENTS (Feb ‘22)% change from Jan '22% change from Feb '21HOUSES (Feb ‘22)% change from Jan '22% change from Feb '21
SYDNEY21 days34% faster22% faster20 days23% faster5% faster
MELBOURNE24 days31% faster36% faster22 days24% faster12% faster
BRISBANE15 days11% faster25% faster15 days8% faster1% slower
PERTH17 days9% faster15% faster15 days10% faster11% faster
ADELAIDE14 days14% faster30% faster13 days16% faster13% faster
HOBART17 days40% slower1% faster14 days6% faster17% faster
DARWIN23 days6% slower37% slower20 days13% faster18% slower
CANBERRA15 days26% faster12% faster18 days11% faster18% slower
Source: Rent.com.au 2022 property data
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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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