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

IN SUMMARY  

  • In July, the median rent for apartments in Sydney, NSW and Melbourne, VIC remained stable with no monthly change. Sydney’s median rent sat at $650/week and Melbourne’s at $500/week.
  • The median rent for apartments in Adelaide, SA rose by 4.4%, reaching $450/week, while in Darwin, NT there was an increase of 5.7%, with the median rent now at $520/week.
  • In Hobart, TAS the median rent for apartments increased by an impressive 8.6%, reaching an average of $450/week – the highest percentage increase among all metro areas.
  • Australia’s priciest rental apartments and houses could be found in Sydney, NSW at $650 and $820/week respectively.
  • The national median price per room saw a 3.8% increase in July, bringing it up to $260/week. Notably, Sydney, NSW and Canberra, ACT had the highest room prices at $355 and $250/week, respectively.

VACANCY RATE CHANGES

  • NSW: Availability DOWN by 4.7%
  • VIC: Availability DOWN by 2.5%
  • QLD: Availability DOWN by 1%
  • WA: Availability DOWN by 11.1%
  • SA: Availability DOWN by 3%
  • TAS: Availability DOWN by 3.3%
  • NT: Availability DOWN by 1%
  • ACT: Availability DOWN by 5.4%

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

Metro areaAPARTMENTSMonthly changeHOUSESMonthly changePRICE PER ROOMMonthly change
Sydney, NSW$6500%$8202.40%$355-1.40%
Melbourne, VIC$5000%$5301.80%$2252.20%
Brisbane, QLD$5601.70%$6200.00%$2161.80%
Perth, WA$5000%$5950.80%$2000.00%
Adelaide, SA$4504.40%$525-2.80%$186-2.10%
Hobart, TAS$4508.60%$5401.40%$2006.50%
Darwin, NT$5205.70%$630-5.50%$2105%
Canberra, ACT$5505.40%$640-2%$2500.00%
National median$5522.50%$6000.00%$2604%
Source: 2023 Rent.com.au property listing data

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PRICE TRENDS

What’s being talked about?

Despite Australia’s economic growth slowing due to twelve interest rate rises, high inflation, and risky wage decisions, the rental markets remain strong. In fact, rental markets have been tightening even further over the past few months. Both houses and apartments have low vacancy rates nationwide, and asking rents are increasing in most states and territories.

As of July 2023, the median asking rent for houses is $600 per week, while apartments are $552 per week. Although rental growth may slow, rent levels are putting affordability to the test and causing more tenants to consider sharing. With current vacancy rates, rents will continue to increase in the short term since there is minimal new supply of properties entering the market in the medium-term future.

In July, new analysis from property research firm CoreLogic suggested the rental market may become more flexible starting in 2024 due to a decrease in inflation and the end of the RBA’s current monetary tightening cycle. Share housing, increased supply, and the return of property investors are expected to contribute to a reduction in rental demand, leading to slower rental growth. Major Australian banks have predicted that the RBA will lower interest rates sometime in 2024, but the RBA has not provided a specific timeline. Instead, the RBA anticipates that inflation will return to its 2-3% target by mid-2025.

So-called ‘no cause’ evictions were also in the spotlight last month, with plans to ban them in South Australia under rental reforms proposed by the SA government. Under the proposed changes, landlords cannot terminate tenancies or end fixed-term leases unless the tenant has breached the terms or the landlord plans to sell, renovate, or take over the property. The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Andrea Michaels, stated that these proposals would help alleviate the severe rental shortage in the state. The government also wants to increase the minimum notice required to end a tenancy from 28 to 60 days.

It was also a big month for renter advocacy in New South Wales, with Trina Jones appointed as the state’s first Rental Commissioner. Jones will provide the government with advice on ways to make the lives of renters easier. She highlighted the fact that two million renters reside in NSW, with 36% of them experiencing rental stress and at risk of homelessness. Jones said she looks forward to working collaboratively with the government, industry, and renters across the state to find solutions to the housing challenges faced by renters. Australia’s rental markets had a mixed performance in July 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%.

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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$39013%$2507.10%
Melbourne, VIC$31219.00%$1668.70%
Brisbane, QLD$32016.40%$1877.10%
Perth, WA$30015.40%$18012.90%
Adelaide, SA$24715.10%$1767.10%
Hobart, TAS$32517%$2006.70%
Darwin, NT$225No change$1983.00%
Canberra, ACT$40020.30%$215-0.80%
National median$35017.60%$19310.20%
Source: 2023 Rent.com.au property listing data

HOW ARE THE REGIONS FARING? 🌳

Australia’s regional rental market was a mixed bag as of July 2023. New South Wales saw a slight dip of 0.9%, while Victoria saw a 1.2% increase. Queensland was stable, but Western Australia and Tasmania saw positive trends. South Australia saw a significant 5.4% increase, while the Northern Territory saw an impressive 8.7% decrease in rents.

Although renters in major cities are still struggling, those in regional areas are receiving some relief as the supply of rentals is slowly increasing. After the pandemic-induced migration, regional rental markets are beginning to ease. The trend towards regional living has temporarily slowed down, with smaller capital cities and regional markets experiencing lower rental demand. Fewer people are leaving the major cities, some are returning post-pandemic, and most migrants prefer settling in the bigger cities due to strong net overseas migration.

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Table 3: % change to regional rents in July 2023

State/TerritoryJul-23% change from July '22
New South Wales$520-1%
Victoria$4201%
Queensland$550No change
Western Australia$5401.40%
South Australia$3905.40%
Tasmania$4302.30%
Northern Territory$497-8.70%
Aus. Capital TerritoryN/AN/A
National median$500No change
Source: 2023 Rent.com.au property listing data

HOW LONG ARE RENTALS TAKING TO LEASE?

In July there were some notable changes in the Time on Market (TOM) or Time to Lease (TTL) in major Australian metro areas. The apartments in Brisbane leased the quickest, taking only 13 days (8% faster), while Perth’s apartments were just a little slower at 14 days (2% slower). Meanwhile, Canberra’s houses remained on the market the longest, taking 28 days (20% longer), while Hobarts houses also saw a significant slowdown, staying on the market for 25 days, coming off the market 5% faster month-on-month.

The most significant change in TOM annually was seen in Canberra’s houses, which leased 36% slower this July compared to July last year. This data highlights the importance of making informed decisions for property owners and managers to navigate the constantly changing rental market conditions.

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

Metro areaAPARTMENTSMonthly changeAnnual changeHOUSESMonthly changeAnnual change
Sydney, NSW19 days2% faster2% faster21 days1% slower1% slower
Melbourne, VIC18 days9% faster14% faster21 daysNo change1% faster
Brisbane, QLD13 days8% faster9% slower18 days2% slower27% slower
Perth, WA14 days2% slower9% faster16 days1% faster1% slower
Adelaide, SA15 days5% slower1% faster18 days1% faster6% slower
Hobart, TAS17 days39% faster2% slower25 days5% faster33% slower
Darwin, NT18 days2% faster5% faster18 days10% faster6% faster
Canberra, ACT24 days16% faster21% slower28 days20% faster36% slower
Source: 2023 Rent.com.au property listing data

WHAT’S TRENDING?

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