Rent.com.au’s January 2023 report shows changes in Australian median rental prices, affordability, and time on the market. Get the latest data on the metro and regional property leasing trends.

IN SUMMARY  📜

  • Sydney, NSW: The price per room in Sydney remained unchanged in January 2023, but the apartment and house rents have increased slightly.
  • Melbourne, VIC: Melbourne’s apartment prices increased by 4.2% in January, with the price per room also experiencing a 5.6% increase. Meanwhile, house rents remained steady.
  • Brisbane, QLD: The rents in Brisbane stayed put in January, with no change in apartment prices, while house rents went up by a modest 1.6%. The price per room saw a slight increase of 4.2%.
  • Perth, WA: Both apartment and house rents in Perth increased slightly, by 0.4% and 1.8%, respectively. The price per room saw a 1.6% increase.
  • Adelaide, SA: In January, apartment rents in Adelaide climbed 4.7%, and house rents increased by 3.8%. The price per room experienced a 3.2% rise.

VACANCY RATE CHANGES

  • NSW: 4% fewer rentals available
  • VIC: 5.3% decrease in availability
  • QLD: 3.4% more rentals available
  • WA: Availability rises by 6.8%
  • SA: An uptick of 8.2%
  • TAS: Vacancies increase by 31%
  • NT: 10.9% increase in availability
  • ACT: Available homes increase by 3.2%

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

Metro areaAPARTMENTSMonthly changeHOUSESMonthly changePRICE PER ROOMMonthly change
Sydney, NSW$5953.3%$7301.3%$300No change
Melbourne, VIC$4704.2%$490No change$2125.6%
Brisbane, QLD$500No change$6001.6%$2124.2%
Perth, WA$4520.4%$5501.8%$1861.6%
Adelaide, SA$4204.7%$5203.8%$1833.2%
Hobart, TAS$4906.1%$5754.3%$2156.9%
Darwin, NT$5205.7%$6659.7%$2121.4%
Canberra, ACT$5400.1%$660-2.2%$262-3.0%
National median$5254.7%$5703.5%$2353.8%
Source: 2023 Rent.com.au property listing data

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PRICE TRENDS

What’s being talked about?

The rental market in Australia’s major cities is getting tighter. According to a recent report by PropTrack, there has been a surge in demand for rentals, with 31.1% more enquiries per listing in the capital cities. However, while demand is growing, the number of properties available for rent is staying low. Combined listings in the capital cities have decreased 21.1% from last year and have dropped 50% since COVID-19 hit its first peak in April 2020.

The return of many people who left Sydney and Melbourne during the pandemic and a surge of newcomers from overseas is putting further strain on the already tight rental market. As a result, apartment median rents in the major cities saw a 4.7% increase from December 2022 to January, and house rents rose by 3.5%. Rental prices are on the rise, no matter where you look.

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The surge in house prices is a major factor affecting the rental market in Australia. With more families moving to the country and opting to buy homes instead of rent, the number of available rental properties is declining. This shortage is driving up rental prices and making it harder for renters to find a place to call home. Supply chain problems and financial difficulties within the construction industry are likely contributing to Australia’s current rental market challenges.

In January 2023, rental prices in Australia’s major cities saw slight increases except for Brisbane, where prices remained unchanged. Melbourne saw the biggest increase in apartment rents (4.2%), while Adelaide experienced the largest rise in house rents (3.8%). The price per room also experienced increases in most cities, with Melbourne seeing the largest increase (5.6%).

In January, media attention was focused on the rental market in Australia. The Real Estate Institute of NSW called on the state government to address the issues in the market. In Victoria, a pilot program was launched to address maintenance and repair needs in social housing. A report by Knight Frank predicted double-digit growth in 2023, while concerns were raised about the impact on those in need of affordable housing as the National Rental Affordability Scheme approaches its end.

WHAT WILL A ROOM IN A RENTAL COST ME? 💰

According to the latest report by Rent.com.au, apartments in Sydney and Melbourne have experienced the most significant rise in room prices, with Sydney topping the list with a 24.6% yearly hike in the price per room.

The price per room metric offers an alternate outlook on the approximate cost to rent a room in a home in Australia. It can aid renters in finding affordable units, landlords set occupancy and pricing, and investors evaluate property performance before investing.

Sydney led the pack in January 2023 in terms of the annual change in apartment price per room, with a 24.6% increase to reach $374.

Hobart saw the smallest growth in price per room for apartments, with just a 4.5% annual change. The national median apartment price per room has increased by 22.6% over the past year, now at $325.

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

Metro areaAPARTMENTS% change (annual)HOUSES% change (annual)
Sydney, NSW$37424.6%$25011.1%
Melbourne, VIC$30023.7%$16611.1%
Brisbane, QLD$27512.2%$18310.0%
Perth, WA$27510.0%$17315.6%
Adelaide, SA$200No change$17614.0%
Hobart, TAS$2614.5%$21010.5%
Darwin, NT$2309.5%$1956.4%
Canberra, ACT$336-0.7%$216No change
National median$32522.6%$19011.8%
Source: 2023 Rent.com.au property listing data

HOW ARE THE REGIONS FARING? 🌳

Regional rent prices in Australia increased 8.8% from January 2022 to January 2023, with the national median reaching $490.

New South Wales and Victoria both saw a 5.2% increase, while South Australia had the highest growth at 12.5%. The Northern Territory was the only region to see a decrease, with a 3.6% drop in rent prices.

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Table 3: % change to regional rents in January 2023

State/TerritoryJan-23% change from Jan ‘22
New South Wales$5055.2%
Victoria$4005.2%
Queensland$50011.1%
Western Australia$50011.1%
South Australia$36012.5%
Tasmania$4507.1%
Northern Territory$525-3.6%
Aus. Capital TerritoryN/AN/A
National median$4908.8%
Source: 2023 Rent.com.au property listing data

HOW LONG ARE RENTALS TAKING TO LEASE?

Considering the monthly change in time on market (TOM) or time to lease (TTL) for Australia’s rental properties provides valuable insight for property owners and managers in several ways.

It goes some way to indicate how well a property is performing in the market, provides insight into overall rental market conditions and market trends, and helps landlords and property managers decide whether to lower the price or make some improvements in the property if the rental has been on the market for a long time.

Rent.com.au uses the average time on market measure to explain the movement in median rents across Australia.

In January 2023, Sydney had the quickest leasing time for apartments, taking 16 days on average, with a 1% faster monthly change and a 48% increase from the previous year. Hobart experienced a slower monthly change with a 12% increase, bringing the average leasing time to 16 days.

However, it still had a 33% increase from the previous year. On the other hand, Canberra had the slowest leasing time, with 28 days and a 34% slower monthly change, leading to a 38% slower leasing rate than the previous year.

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

Metro areaAPARTMENTSMonthly changeAnnual changeHOUSESMonthly changeAnnual change
Sydney, NSW16 days1% faster48% faster28 days34% slower9% slower
Melbourne, VIC17 days7% slower51% faster25 days27% slower11% faster
Brisbane, QLD13 days8% slower23% faster19 days16% slower16% slower
Perth, WA15 days8% slower21% faster15 days5% slower13% faster
Adelaide, SA15 days6% slower7% faster19 days28% slower19% slower
Hobart, TAS16 days12% slower33% slower19 days25% slower27% slower
Darwin, NT26 days19% slower17% slower31 days58% slower36% slower
Canberra, ACT28 days34% slower38% slower28 days35% slower42% slower
Source: 2023 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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