Rental market snapshot - January 2020

Rental property website Rent.com.au has released its report for January 2020, 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.

Rent.com.au Rental Snapshot Highlights:

  • Perth remains the cheapest capital city to rent an individual room in a house at $126/week, despite a year-on-year room price increase of 8.6%.
  • Sydney ended 2019 and began 2020 as the most unaffordable metro capital for apartments and houses at $520/week and $600/week respectively.
  • Houses in Canberra slowed most significantly of all state and territory capitals to take 30 days to lease, a 51% slowdown month-on-month.
  • Perth (up 7.7%), Hobart (up 5.3%) and Adelaide (up 4.9%) were key contributors to the change in the national apartment median rent

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Table 1: Median rent (apartments v houses) and price per room
Metro areaApartments% changeHouses% changePrice per room% change
Source: rent.com.au 2020
SYDNEY$5204%$6000.80%$2757.80%
MELBOURNE$4262.80%$4351.20%$1874.10%
BRISBANE$4000%$4500%$1735%
PERTH$3507.70%$3800%$1331.50%
ADELAIDE$3204.90%$390-1.30%$1432.30%
HOBART$3955.30%$475-3.10%$175-3.40%
DARWIN$3454.50%$475-5%$1500%
CANBERRA$4904.30%$5000%$2307.30%
National median$4502.30%$4500%$1973.90%

Price trends in January 2020

Median rents.

Apartment median rents across the country jumped 2.3% to $450/week in January, according to new data from the Australian rental property website, rent.com.au. Perth (up 7.7%), Hobart (up 5.3%) and Adelaide (up 4.9%) were key contributors to the change in national median month-on-month.

Conversely, a 5% decline in Darwin’s house median rent and a 3.1% drop in Hobart metro topped the list for price falls in January.

New South Wales’ capital Sydney began 2020 at the top of the median rent list, unchanged as Australia’s most expensive metro area for renters looking for an apartment ($520/week) or house ($600/week).

The capital’s asking rents are comparable to the country’s most affordable city for apartments in January, Adelaide ($320/week).

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Price per room

Considering rent.com.au’s room price metric, Perth remained the cheapest place in Australia to rent an individual room in a house at $126/week, despite an 8.6% increase year-on-year.

The 12-month change in price per room showed Hobart to have the biggest reduction in apartment prices, dropping 8.9% to $205/week.

Rent.com.au chief executive officer, Greg Bader said with most reported property data developed for the property owner (i.e. dwelling price), it was important to have an individual measurement that looked at a room price breakdown.

“Our price per room metric is a different way to look at the cost of renting,” he said. “It’s a more accurate representation for people wanting to share a home with others.”

Table 2: 12-month change in price per room (Apartments versus Houses)
Metro areaApartments% change from JAN 2019Houses% change from Jan-19
Source: rent.com.au 2020
SYDNEY$3354.70%$2168.30%
MELBOURNE$2758.90%$1539.50%
BRISBANE$220-2.20%$1486.30%
PERTH$21010.50%$1268.60%
ADELAIDE$1717%$1331.30%
HOBART$205-8.90%$1650%
DARWIN$160-1%$140-1.20%
CANBERRA$3301.50%$180-0.70%
National median$2753.80%$1534%

Regional rents.

Regional Northern Territory was the most unaffordable across the country for the average renter in January – prices for rentals in the territory’s outlying regions were $450/week, despite a 3.2% price fall.

Tasmania, Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria recorded an increase in the median rent month-on-month, up 10% (TAS), 5.6% (QLD), 2.9% (WA) and 2.7% (VIC).

Median rents remained relatively healthy across the rest of the country, with no change for New South Wales (consistent at $400/week).

Table 3: Regional rents in January 2020
State/TerritoryJan-20% change from Dec ‘19
Source: rent.com.au 2020
NSW$4000%
VIC$3802.70%
QLD$3305.60%
WA$3502.90%
SA$270-5.20%
TAS$33010%
NT$450-3.20%
ACTunavailunavail
National median$3802.70%

Time on market.

“As many renters view the start of the year as the ideal time to find a new home, January is typically a busier month for rental properties than any other time of the year,” said Mr Bader. “With high demand from tenants comes an influx of new rental listings and available properties to rent which, due to strong competition, can mean landlords struggle to secure tenants.”

Rent.com.au’s latest report recorded a general increase in the time apartments and houses stayed on market in January. The rental market slowed most significantly in Canberra, where houses took an average of 30 days to shift in January, up from 20 days in December 2019. Looking at apartments, the only state capital where properties shifted off market faster was Hobart, averaging 13 days to lease (2% faster, month-on-month).

Table 4: Days on market in January 2020
Metro areaAPARTMENT days on market JAN 2020% change from DEC 2019% change from JAN 2019HOUSES days on market JAN 2020% change from DEC 2019% change from JAN 2019
Source: rent.com.au 2020
SYDNEY37 days32% slower5.7% slower37 days43% slower0.1% faster
MELBOURNE27 days18% slower3.7% slower30 days32% slower3.2% slower
BRISBANE22 days6% slower0.3% faster24 days10% slower0.2% faster
PERTH31 days3% slower13.9% faster29 days16% slower16.8% faster
ADELAIDE21 days10% slower22.6% faster22 days12% slower3.8% faster
HOBART13 days5% faster6% faster20 days33% slower23.1% slower
DARWIN42 daysNo change15.2% faster41 days30% slower5.1% faster
CANBERRA25 days37% slower29.7% slower30 days51% slower43.3% slower

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