Rent.com.au has released its latest report for March 2019 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.

Monthly Highlights:

  • Half of Australia’s states and territories (Perth, Hobart, Darwin and Canberra) recorded an increase in house median rents in March.
  • Hobart was the strongest performer month-on-month with house rents up 4.6%.
  • The steepest decline in regional rents was in the NT – down 9% month-on-month.
  • Across all property types, Perth was the cheapest place to rent a room in January at $126/week.

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

Metro areaApartments% changeHouses% changePrice per room% change
National median$4500%$4502.20%$192-2.50%
SYDNEY$5301.90%$6000%$265-3.60%
MELBOURNE$4202.40%$4300%$180-2.70%
BRISBANE$4000%$4300%$160-3.50%
PERTH$3200%$3701.30%$1260%
ADELAIDE$3000%$3800%$1360%
HOBART$365-4.50%$4504.60%$1842.30%
DARWIN$340-2.80%$4802.10%$1500%
CANBERRA$450-2.10%$5501.80%$210-2.30%
How the states and territories compared in March 2019
SOURCE: RENT.COM.AU © 2019

Price trends

Median rents.

The strongest-performing capital city in March was Hobart, where house rents jumped 4.6% to $450/week, Rent.com.au reported. Hobart wasn’t alone in its increase, however, with half the states/territories recording

Nationally, there was a 2.2% rise in house values in March, which was driven upward by movement in Perth (1.3%), Hobart (4.6%), Darwin (2.1%) and Canberra (1.8%).

Median house rents in Perth are the lowest of any capital city, despite a small increase in March, but housing conditions remain a challenge for the WA capital.

On a national level, apartment prices were stagnant, brought about by rent falls in the country’s smaller capitals, but levelled out with small rises in Sydney and Melbourne, up 1.9% and 2.4% respectively.

Adelaide apartment rooms still cheapest, but costs fall in Darwin

Renting a standalone property isn’t for everyone. Situation-dependent, renters often find it easier to apply for a shared accommodation option to ease the financial burden, rather than going it alone.

According to Rent.com.au’s latest data, which considers the room price metric (for price per room), Adelaide remains the cheapest capital to rent an individual room in an apartment ($155/week), while Perth takes the lead at $120/week for houses.

Hobart apartments recorded the most significant change in price per room in March; up 13.1% to $226/week while, on the other hand, Darwin apartment room prices dropped 13.1% to $155/week.

The metric also showed that Sydney once again outranked all other state/territory capitals at $265/week for a single room (national price per room – page 2 table). Broken down by property type, both apartments and houses were least affordable of all capitals (apartments – $320/week, houses – $200/week).

Table 2: Price per room (Apartments versus Houses)

Metro areaApartments% change from MAR 2018Houses% change from
National median$2755.70%$1507.10%
SYDNEY$3200%$2000%
MELBOURNE$2705.80%$1509.70%
BRISBANE$2358%$1373.10%
PERTH$2003.90%$1206.60%
ADELAIDE$155-2.10%$1306%
HOBART$22613.10%$1709.60%
DARWIN$155-13.10%$146-0.40%
CANBERRAunavailunavailunavailunavail
SOURCE: RENT.COM.AU © 2019

Median rents down in the NT but remain highest of all states/territories

Median rents across the regions were stable in March – consistent with data from February. Rents dropped in Western Australia (down 2.9% to $330/week), South Australia (down 5.5% to $260/week) and Tasmania (down 3.2% to $300/week). The steepest decline, however, was in the Northern Territory (down 9% to $405/week), despite maintaining its position as ‘most unaffordable’ for rents in the regions.

Adelaide market kicks into gear in March

Adelaide apartments saw the most significant improvement in time on market in March; taking 20 days to shift on average (19.9% faster). Houses in the SA capital were also off market 0.4% faster in March – now 21 days. For houses, the most noticeable shift month-on-month for houses was in Darwin – this property type came off market 10% faster in March, an average of 26 days to move.

RENT CEO Greg Bader said noticeable movement across most capitals indicated healthy leasing activity which has prompted increased demand. “Good news for property owners and investors who are starting to see their vacancy time reduced,” he said.

Table 3: Days on market

Metro areaAPARTMENT days on market MAR 2019% change from FEB 2019% change from MAR 2018HOUSES days on market MAR 2019% change from FEB 2019% change from MAR 2018
SYDNEY24 days6.4% faster14.3% slower27 days1.8% slower14.3% slower
MELBOURNE18 days6.5% faster6.1% slower23 days4.3% faster14.1% slower
BRISBANE21 days1.4% slower15% faster21 days1.9% faster17.4% faster
PERTH28 days7.3% faster18.4% faster28 days3.6% slower17.7% faster
ADELAIDE20 days19.9% faster16.1% faster21 days0.4% faster7.4% faster
HOBART15 days5.2% faster22.4% slower14 days12.2% faster4.8% faster
DARWIN34 days0.1% faster20.8% slower26 days10% faster27.1% faster
CANBERRA17 days6.3% slower28.5% slower19 days6.6% slower13.4% slower

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