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

In summary… 📜

  • Aussie renters face hurdles in the country’s regions as vacancies tighten and opportunities drop for those on low incomes or in flood-affected areas.
  • Median house rents were up by 2 per cent across the country, now $510 a week
  • On average, Australia’s renters are shelling out around $450 a week to rent an apartment; for houses, the average is now $510

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

Metro areaApartments% changeHouses% changePrice per room% change
SYDNEY$5000%$6520.30%$272-1.10%
MELBOURNE$4001.30%$4500%$192-1.50%
BRISBANE$4402.30%$5401.90%$1951.00%
PERTH$4202.40%$4820.40%$1700%
ADELAIDE$3802.70%$4602.20%$1660%
HOBART$4202.40%$5450.90%$200-2.90%
DARWIN$4502.30%$590-1.70%$2002%
CANBERRA$5251.00%$6351.60%$250-3.80%
National median$4500%$5102%$212-0.50%
Source: Rent.com.au 2022 property listing data

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Price trends (March 2022)

How median rents are changing 👇

There’s little doubt that the country’s rental – and wider housing – market is vastly different from two years ago. First came the decision to close Australia’s cities at the start of the pandemic, cut interest rates to unprecedented lows, and pump the economy with stimulus. Combined, we saw a newfound interest in regional living and a preference for detached housing with room to move over apartments. A string of government-led homebuying incentives pushed more first home buyers into the market. But while a strong upswing in property prices has done well to deliver a solid income boost for homeowners, Australia’s renters are left facing more significant hurdles.

Amid rising rental prices and a new budget in March, Prime Minister Scott Morrison sparked controversy, proposing Australians seeking rent relief should instead think about buying a home. The PM suggested boosting rates of homeownership was the way to solve rental affordability. In late March, treasurer Josh Frydenberg unveiled his budget, promising to double the government’s first-home buyer scheme to 50,000 places. The program will lower the minimum deposit required from 20% to 5%, with the government securing the difference.

Rent.com.au’s March 2022 data saw house rents jump up 2% month-on-month. While changes in each state and territory capital were only incremental, the most significant increases were seen in Adelaide houses (up 2.2% to $460 a week) and Brisbane houses, up 1.9% to $540 a week. Apartment rents were also up in all capitals, except in Sydney. On average, renters must shell out around $450 a week to rent an apartment; for houses, the average is now $510.

In some positive news, Aussie comedian Tom Cashman’s social media call for landlords to be asked to provide references inspired a new rental motion in the Australian Capital Territory. What began as a light-hearted TikTok post now has the potential to become legislation. ACT MLA Michael Pettersson said he would introduce a motion to the ACT Legislative Assembly to give renters the right to request a landlord reference. Inspired by Cashman’s content, Mr Pettersson said allowing prospective tenants to ask for references would end a power imbalance between renters and landlords.

Looking at March’s median rent data, the most affordable metro capital was Adelaide, where apartment rents are $380 a week, despite a 2.7% increase.

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 in room prices, apartments and houses have seen a sizeable shift in room prices, up 8% and 8.5%, respectively.

Room prices were up in all states and territories for both property types in March 2022, except for Hobart apartments, which fell by 3.6% to $200 a week. The most significant cost shifts were Sydney apartments (up 16.1% to $325 a week), Darwin apartments (up 13.9% to $225 a week) and Melbourne apartments, up 13.6% to $250 a week.

The country’s most expensive rooms could be found in Canberra apartments, with a price per room of $342 a week.

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

Metro areaApartments% change from MAR 2021Houses% change from MAR 2021
SYDNEY$32516.10%$2218.80%
MELBOURNE$25013.60%$1507.10%
BRISBANE$2508.70%$1638.90%
PERTH$2507.50%$1539.50%
ADELAIDE$2006.70%$1537.10%
HOBART$225-3.60%$1868.70%
DARWIN$22513.90%$19511.40%
CANBERRA$3425.40%$21511.20%
National median$2758%$1708.50%
Source: Rent.com.au 2022 property listing data

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How are the regions faring? 🌳

Regional rents recorded a 2.3% boost in March, with internal migration likely a key driver. With more people moving to the regions, vacancy rates have tightened and added pressure to renters on low incomes or homeless due to the floods. Queensland and New South Wales’ flood-affected areas have only aggravated the national rental program, with a rental market unable to house families on low and middle incomes made homeless temporarily.

While renters in the metro capitals have difficulty finding affordable homes, the problem also exists in our regional areas. The squeeze on housing affordability in regional South Australia is forcing up prices. The end of temporary increases to income support and rapidly increasing affordability pressures have also extended the issue.

Regional rents in SA were up 6.2% to $340 a week in March, as housing demand outstretches the region’s capabilities. The Northern Territory remains the least affordable of all states and territories, with the median rent tipping $540 a week.

Table 3: Regional rents in March 2022

State/TerritoryMAR 2022% change from MAR 2022
NSW$4800%
VIC$3800%
QLD$4602.20%
WA$4500%
SA$3406.20%
TAS$4000%
NT$5403.80%
ACTn/an/a
National median$4500%
Source: Rent.com.au 2022 property listing 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 12 days median time to rent a Hobart apartment in March this year is 30% faster than last month – and the most significant change to time on market of all state and territory capitals.

Darwin houses picked up pace in March, shifting 15% faster to take just 18 days to rent. Melbourne apartments stayed on market longest of all property types, averaging 24 days on Rent.com.au before leasing.

Metro areaAPARTMENTS (Mar '22)% change from Feb '22% change from Mar '21HOUSES (Mar '22)% change from Feb '22% change from Mar '21
SYDNEY21 days1% faster27% faster20 daysNo change6% faster
MELBOURNE24 days4% faster38% faster21 days4% faster15% faster
BRISBANE13 days9% faster34% faster15 days1% faster5% slower
PERTH16 days3% slower13% faster14 days4% faster8% faster
ADELAIDE13 days7% faster35% faster14 days1% slower12% faster
HOBART12 days30% faster30% faster14 days1% slower17% faster
DARWIN17 days27% faster2% faster18 days15% faster6% slower
CANBERRA16 days8% slower6% slower17 daysNo change6% slower
Source: Rent.com.au 2022 property listing 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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