Rent.com.au has released its report for May 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.

Rent.com.au Rental Snapshot Highlights:

  • Median apartment rents fell in five of eight capitals in May, with prices1% down in Hobart, 2.8% down in Darwin, 2.4% down in Melbourne, 2.2% down in Canberra and 0.8% in Adelaide.
  • Despite falls in apartment prices, Darwin was the strongest performer for houses in April, with median rents up 2.1% to $480/week.
  • Nationally, apartment and house median rents remained unchanged month-on-month. The only national fall was in price per room (down 1.3%).
  • Across all property types, Perth was the cheapest place to rent a room in January at $125/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%$4400%$187-1.30%
SYDNEY$5251%$6000%$2660.60%
MELBOURNE$410-2.40%$420-1.20%$1750%
BRISBANE$3951.30%$4251.20%$1570%
PERTH$3250%$3700%$125-1.30%
ADELAIDE$295-0.80%$3801.30%$1350.70%
HOBART$350-9.10%$4700%$170-3.30%
DARWIN$350-2.80%$4500%$1500%
CANBERRA$440-2.20%$530-1.90%$200-4.10%

Price trends

Median rents.

Across Australia’s states and territories, rents remained relatively flat in May. The strongest-performing capital cities were Brisbane, where apartment prices rose 1.3% to $395/week, and Adelaide, where house rents also jumped 1.3% to $380/week.

Hobart recorded the most significant decrease in apartment median rents in May, down 9.1% to $350/week, but the TAS capital’s median rents remain above others like Adelaide and Perth. In May, Hobart’s median apartment rents were in line with Darwin’s.

Looking at the west coast, Perth saw no change in either median apartment or house rents in May, which could suggest the decline is easing up in WA and demand could be starting to creep back in.

The new data shows median house rents in the WA capital were the lowest of any city in April at $380/week, while the most affordable apartments could be found in Adelaide ($295/week).

Find your next home on Rent.com.au
– Search for rentals in Sydney, New South Wales
– Search for rentals in Melbourne, Victoria
– Search for rentals in Brisbane, Queensland

Price per room.

Rent.com.au’s price per room metric offers another way to look at the cost of renting in Australia, in particular for people looking to share a home and save money.

According to the latest data, which considers the room price metric, Darwin was the most affordable Australian capital for house hunters looking to rent an individual room in an apartment at $145/week. Meanwhile, Perth took the affordability lead at $123/week for houses.

Interestingly, Perth apartment room prices were up 17.2% in April to $218/week – the highest of all capitals. The most expensive rooms were (somewhat unsurprisingly) in Sydney, priced at $323/week, but only just. The NSW capital is followed closely behind by Canberra at $320/week.

Table 2: Price per room (Apartments versus Houses)

Metro areaApartments% change from May 2018Houses% change from May 2018
National median$2751.80%$1463.53%
SYDNEY$312-2.30%$2000%
MELBOURNE$2708%$1403.70%
BRISBANE$2302.20%$1373.10%
PERTH$2005.20%$1163.70%
ADELAIDE$150-0.30%$120-4%
HOBART$185-0.80%$1649.40%
DARWIN$160-8.50%$133-8%
CANBERRA$3504%$1765.40%

Regional rents.

Median rents across the regions were stable in May, consistent with data from April. Regional rents saw the most significant upward spike in Western Australia this time, (up 3.8% to $342/week). This was the only upward change in the country, with falls in the Northern Territory (down 6.7% to $420/week), Tasmania (down 3.2% to $300/week) and Victoria (down 3.1% to $310/week). Rents in the NT remain the most expensive across Australia at $420/week.

Table 3: Regional rents in April 2019

State/TerritoryMay-19% change from April ‘19
National median$3700%
NSW$4000%
VIC$310-3.10%
QLD$3700%
WA$3423.80%
SA$2700%
TAS$300-3.20%
NT$420-6.70%
ACTunavailunavail

Time on market.

Hobart was the only Australian capital where apartments saw an improvement in time on market month-on-month. Properties took 12 days, on average, to lease in the Tasmanian capital (2% faster month-on-month) while all remaining capitals slowed – most significantly in Canberra (apartments moved 13% slower to 21 days).

Across the board, the slowdown recorded in many metro capitals month-on-month for both property types was in line with trends from the April report. Darwin was the only capital to improve for houses, with properties off market 11% faster than in April, now 35 days.

Table 4: Days on market

Metro areaAPARTMENT days on market MAY 2019% change from APR 2019% change from MAY 2018HOUSES days on market MAY 2019% change from APR 2019% change from MAY 2018
SYDNEY27 days3% slower21% slower28 days2% slower13% slower
MELBOURNE21 days5% slower10% slower27 days9% slower23% slower
BRISBANE22 days2% slower17% faster24 days13% slower4.9% faster
PERTH30 days4% slower22% faster31 days8% slower14% faster
ADELAIDE22 days10% slower8% faster22 days10% slower10% faster
HOBART12 days2% faster26% faster17 days3% slower11% faster
DARWIN40 days5% slower4% faster35 days11% faster2% slower
CANBERRA21 days13% slower27% slower22 days10% slower20% slower

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