Rental property website Rent.com.au has released its report for November 2020, 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:

  • November saw consistent rises in median rent for both property types (apartments and houses) in Perth, Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin.
  • Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, and Canberra all recorded an increase in the national rental price per room (apartments and houses combined).
  • Australia has seen a slight increase in national rental availability (up 2.7%), but Perth‘s market continues to tighten, recording a 50% decrease in rental stock levels since March 2020.

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

Metro areaApartments% changeHouses% changePrice per room% change
SYDNEY$470-2%$6203.30%$2600%
MELBOURNE$380-3.70%$430-1.10%$1902.50%
BRISBANE$4000%$4602.20%$1750%
PERTH$3651.30%$4205%$1510.60%
ADELAIDE$3252.90%$4001.20%$1500%
HOBART$3801.30%$4653.30%$1800%
DARWIN$3601.40%$5208.30%$1702.40%
CANBERRA$4802.10%$5800%$2404.30%
National median$420-2.30%$4653.30%$2000.90%
Source: Rent.com.au 2020
Read more: How long before my application is approved?

Price trends in November 2020

Median rents.

Data from Rent.com.au’s latest report signals that Australia’s property markets may have hit the bottom and are now moving from strength to strength, with median rent growth in four of eight capitals.

The rental market has not been immune to COVID-19 economic fallout, but median rents around the country have started to lift as restrictions lift and confidence recovers. Rental demand remains heightened in most areas, despite migration stalling from the country’s shut international borders.

Rent.com.au chief executive officer Greg Bader said some rental demand is being driven by renters who are keeping a close eye on property availability and what prices are doing, and landlords who are scoping their competition and pricing accordingly. “Many renters view the beginning of the new year as the ideal time to find a home, and with high rental demand comes an influx of new rental listings and vacant properties for rent,” he said. “Many leases will also expire in early 2021, as well as moratoriums on evictions ending in TAS and ACT, so I expect we’ll see some heightened rental demand as we move closer to January.”

Looking at vacancy data for residential rental listings in November, there was a slight increase in national rental availability (up 2.7%). Perth‘s rental market is among the tightest of any capital city, with the lift in house rents (5%) month-on-month one of the highest among the metro capitals. There was some relief for tenants in Western Australia who are struggling to find a rental, with 4% more properties available month-on-month. Still, available properties have declined in number by 50% since March this year.

The Australian Capital Territory recorded the most significant rise in availability, with 17% more rental properties entering the market in November. Victoria‘s vacancies continue to rise, with a 6% increase in vacancies. The state’s available rental stock has increased by more than 60% since COVID-19 impacted it back in March. Queensland vacancies continue to decline, with 5% fewer rentals available in November, now down almost 40% since March. There was a small 2.5% increase in available stock in New South Wales and a 5% increase in South Australia.

Price per room.

Rent.com.au’s price per room metric offers another way to look at the cost of renting in Australia. Looking at the annual change from the November data, all metro capitals bar one (Hobart) saw an upward trend in price per room for houses, with the most significant change in Darwin, up 17.2% to $164/week. The cost of a room in an apartment in Darwin was also up year-on-year, rising 6% to $175/week. Areas with consistent upward changes for both apartments and houses included Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, and Canberra.

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

Metro areaApartments% change from NOV 2019Houses% change from Nov-19
SYDNEY$3000%$2010.60%
MELBOURNE$230-9.80%$1412.40%
BRISBANE$2251.60%$1455.40%
PERTH$2105%$13613.80%
ADELAIDE$1624.40%$1405.60%
HOBART$197-15%$161-5.10%
DARWIN$1756%$16417.20%
CANBERRA$36018%$1903.60%
National median$250-5.60%$1555%
Source: Rent.com.au 2020
Read more: Rental applications: How long before I’m approved? 

Regional rents.

Table 3: Regional rents in November 2020

State/TerritoryOct-20% change from Sept '20
NSW$4205%
VIC$3509.40%
QLD$4005.30%
WA$38011.80%
SA$2800%
TAS$3200%
NT$4600%
ACTn/an/a
National median$3953.90%
Source: Rent.com.au 2020

Things could slowly be changing for regional cities, with a new trend of people relocating from the capital cities to regional areas. This new internal migration will create a unique growth opportunity. In November, Western Australia recorded the most significant price spike, climbing 11.8% to $380/week.

WA was one of four states to record any change in its regional median rent. Victoria rose 9.4% to $350/week, followed by Queensland (5.3% to $400/week) and finally in New South Wales, up 4% to $420/week.

The highest regional rents in November were in the Northern Territory, unchanged at $460/week, closely followed by New South Wales at $420/week.

Time on market.

Table 4: Time on market in November 2020

Metro areaAPARTMENT days on market NOV 2020% change from OCT 2020% change from NOV 2019HOUSES days on market NOV 2020% change from OCT 2020% change from NOV 2019
SYDNEY30 days1% slower13% slower21 days3% faster16% faster
MELBOURNE40 days19% slower74% slower25 days8% slower6% slower
BRISBANE27 days1% slower31% slower15 days3% faster29% faster
PERTH18 days14% faster35% faster16 days1% slower39% faster
ADELAIDE21 days0% change33% slower15 days6% slower22% faster
HOBART17 days12% faster36% slower15 days8% faster7% slower
DARWIN18 days10% slower48% faster14 days10% faster52% faster
CANBERRA16 days28% faster8% slower14 days12% faster22% faster
Source: Rent.com.au 2020

Rent.com.au’s average time on market measure is designed to provide some context to the movement in median rents across Australia.

Of all metro areas, Canberra was the one to record the most significant change to time on market, month-on-month. Apartments leased quickest in the ACT capital in November, coming off the market in 16 days (28% faster). Year-on-year, the metro capital to record the greatest change was Melbourne, today taking 74% longer (now 40 days) to move a property than it did in November 2019.

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