Monthly market report: May 2018

Property leasing data released by for May 2018 illustrates the shift in Australian median rental property prices (both metro and regional) and rental affordability (the median room price metric).

Report Highlights:

  • Apartment prices in Sydney, NSW have not been this high ($550) since October 2017, jumping 1.9% to $550 a week from April to May 2018.
  • The price per room in Adelaide, SA is now the highest it has been since July 2015. May saw the first rise in prices, jumping upward by 3.85%.
  • Perth, WA remains the most affordable option for renters looking for shared accommodation ($120)



How the states and territories compared in May 2018
Median rent (apartments v houses) and price per room

Metro area Apartments % change Houses % change Price per room % change
SYDNEY $550 ↑1.9% $600 0% $270 0%
MELBOURNE $400 0% $420 0% $170 0%
BRISBANE $395 ↑1.3% $420 0% $153 ↓1.29%
PERTH $315 ↓1.6% $350 ↓2.6% $120 ↓1.63%
ADELAIDE $300 ↑1.7% $370 ↓1.3% $135 ↑3.85%
HOBART $350 0% $430 0% $165 ↑1.54%
DARWIN $370 ↑0.8% $495 ↓1% $160 0%
CANBERRA $430 0% $520 0% $203 ↓5.58%
National median $450 2.3% $430 0% $180 0%


Median Rents

Across Australia’s states and territories, rents remained relatively flat in May. Sydney rents are still high (no great surprise) but cooling demand could be behind the stabilising cost of some property types. Apartment median rents were flat in May, rising by just 1.9%, while house prices remained unchanged. Perth recorded the most significant decrease in median rents in May, dropping 2.6% to $350 a week. Chief Executive Officer, Greg Bader said house prices have now been stable in Sydney for five months since December 2017. “Irrespective of this stability, Sydney remains unaffordable to significant proportions of the renting population – especially in very low and low-income households,” he said. “However, prices aren’t rising the way they were; the boom phase of the market is fading, and it’s likely down to first-home buyer incentives and a deluge of new apartments on the market.”

Property Manager with MMJ Real Estate, Laura McDiarmid said their office in Dapto, NSW had seen a string of interesting changes in the rental market across the Illawarra. “With a large number of properties available, it has given tenants more options to choose from,” Laura said. “As tenants now have many properties matching their needs, we’ve seen the urgency to secure a property immediately drop a little, and properties are remaining vacant for longer. Tenants are really taking their time to make sure it’s the ideal home for them and their family.”

“This hasn’t really affected some pricing though, which is a good sign. Some properties are needing to make relevant adjustments to suit the lower demand. However, we are seeing quality properties still commanding strong rents. This is a positive sign for landlords and prospective landlords. It also indicates that to have some separation from the rest of the market, a little TLC can go a long way and prove to be an investment rather than a cost.”

Price Per Room

Renters looking to score a good deal on an apartment would have found their best options in Adelaide (just $150 a week for a room), against $116 a week in Perth for a room in a house. Nationally, Perth was the shared accommodation bargain at just $120 a week for all property types, closely followed by Adelaide ($135 a week) and Brisbane ($153 a week). The metric also showed that Sydney once again outranked all other state/territory capitals at $270 a week for a single room (national price per room).

Price per room
Apartments v Houses v National pricing

Metro area Apartments % change from May 2017 Houses % change from May 2017
SYDNEY $320 ↓3% $198 ↓2.6%
MELBOURNE $260 ↑8.3% $137 ↑3.2%
BRISBANE $238 ↑10.2% $133 0%
PERTH $195 ↑2.6% $116 ↑2.9%
ADELAIDE $150 ↑1.7% $123 ↑3.1%
HOBART $165 0% $149 ↑16.4%
DARWIN $185 ↑11% $150 ↑1.6%
CANBERRA $360 ↑20% $173 ↑7.8%
National median $275 5.8% $143 3.9%


Regional Rents

Median rents across Australia’s regions remained mostly stable in May, consistent with data from April. New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory recorded a decrease in their median rent month-on-month, down 1.3% (NSW), 2.2% (WA) and 6.1% (NT). Properties in the NT’s regions are still yielding high rental amounts with the weekly price unchanged at $400/week. For renters, this means no relief in sight as the territory remains the most unaffordable of all capitals.

Regional Rents
% change between April 2018 and May 2018

State/Territory April 2018 May 2018 % change
NSW $395 $400 ↓1.3%
VIC $290 $290 0%
QLD $350 $360 ↑1.4%
WA $330 $330 ↓2.2%
SA $265 $265 0%
TAS $280 $280 0%
NT $450 $423 ↓6.1%
ACT unavailable unavailable unavailable
National median $350 $360 0%

Days on Market’s average days on market measure provides context to the movement in asking rents. Days on market in Perth improved significantly in May, taking 16.8% less time to move an apartment than 12 months prior in May 2017. Trends were similar in Darwin, where houses shifted quicker under a wave of continued rental demand, slowing movement to 33.9 days. In Brisbane, apartments moved 14.4% faster (27.4 days) and houses 7.6% faster. Mr Bader said this movement across several capitals was indicative of healthy leasing activity prompting increased demand. “This is good news for property owners and investors who are seeing their vacancy time reduced,” he said.

Days on market
% change in no. days on market (Apartments v Houses)

Metro area APARTMENTS days on market % change from April % change from May 2018 HOUSES days on market % change from April % change from May 2018
SYDNEY 23 1% faster 16.2% slower 25.1 7% faster 14% slower
MELBOURNE 19.1 2% slower 4.8% faster 21.8 6% faster 5.2% faster
BRISBANE 27.4 2% faster 14.4% faster 26.6 5% faster 8.3% faster
PERTH 39.1 19% slower 16.8% faster 37.2 3% slower 13.9% faster
ADELAIDE 24.9 14% faster 16.3% faster 25 5% slower 7.6% faster
HOBART 16.8 6% faster 5.3% slower 19.9 5% slower 10.6% slower
DARWIN 42.4 19% slower 16.3% slower 33.9 17% faster 16.3% faster
 CANBERRA 15 7% slower 24.2% faster 19 10% slower 4.3% faster is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.