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

IN SUMMARY  📜

  • In October, the national median for apartment rents was up 2%, while houses remained unchanged
  • The 2022-23 Federal Budget promised an ‘aspirational’ target of 1 million houses built by 2024
  • Australia’s markets have tightened further, with vacancy rates now just under 1%

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

Metro areaAPARTMENTSMonthly changeHOUSESMonthly changePRICE PER ROOMMonthly change
Sydney, NSW$5754.30%$7101.40%$3000%
Melbourne, VIC$4301.20%$4750%$197-1.50%
Brisbane, QLD$4751.10%$5752.60%$1981%
Perth, WA$4505.60%$5000%$1750%
Adelaide, SA$4000%$4951%$175-2.90%
Hobart, TAS$430-4.70%$540-1.90%$2000%
Darwin, NT$460-4.30%$600-1.70%$206-2.40%
Canberra, ACT$520-1%$6500%$250-4%
National median$5002%$5500%$220-2.30%

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PRICE TRENDS

Australia’s rental market has spent the last month tightening up, and the current vacancy rate is still what experts term ‘extremely low’ across the country. More and more people are renting for longer at a time when advertised listings for rent have plummeted, causing rents to shoot up at some of the fastest rates in decades.

So, how’d we go in October? We can see metro capital rents kicking on with the general trend of recent months. Apartments (up 2%) certainly outperformed houses, which remained steady overall, unchanged from September. That said, the apartment market saw some mixed reports in October. Perth and Sydney were sharply higher, but Hobart and Darwin’s rents were down by 4.7% and 4.3%. Demand in the country’s typically more affordable apartment market continues to rise, likely strengthened by high migration levels and an underlying accommodation shortage.

October saw the release of the 2022-23 Federal Budget. Now, it’s no secret that things are getting more expensive. At the time of publication, inflation was already at 7.3% – the highest level in more than 30 years – and this year’s budget papers forecast it’ll peak at 7.75% by December. According to the budget, nationally advertised rents have risen by 10% in the year to September and – in more bad news – warned rental costs are expected to rise “considerably” over the next two years amid “stronger population growth and limited housing stock.”

But here’s the clincher. Demand on the Aussie rental market is likely to worsen before it gets better, especially as we approach the peak rental changeover period in December and January and international students return for the new university year. In short, it’s a landlord’s market causing a rental crisis when international migration still hasn’t fully recovered. For the average renter juggling multiple bills – and housing their biggest weekly expense – it’s a budget nightmare.

One striking figure in this year’s budget was a target for one million new homes to be built over five years from 2024. It also outlined a National Housing Accord, an agreement signed between governments, investors and the construction sector to address housing supply and affordability. Treasurer Jim Chalmers called it a “big, ambitious target” and said it’s all part of a plan to help tackle the lack of affordable rental properties. Still, the budget didn’t offer much to alleviate high rental housing costs in the near term.

Even the budget documents called the 1M target ‘aspirational’ – the federal government is only locked in for an extra 10,000 homes, which won’t start until mid-2024. The budget also included a few schemes to make it easier to buy with a smaller deposit, including Help to Buy for low-income earners, which sees the federal government ‘buy in’ with an equity stake in your home. For regional homebuyers, 10,000 people a year can buy in with a 5 per cent deposit, which also kicked off in October.

Rent.com.au’s latest data shows rental availability continuing to fall, with the number of rental properties listed on rent.com.au 0.4% down from September and 32% down from October 2021. Both Victoria and Tasmania recorded a 6.2% listing drop, month-on-month. Low rental availability also pushes rents higher as landlords can afford to hike rents when tenants have limited choices. There were early indicators of a positive turnaround in the Australian Capital Territory (up 10.4%) and the Northern Territory (up 9.3%), but no apparent relief in the country’s bigger capitals yet.

Looking at October’s median rent data, the most affordable metro capital was again Adelaide, where apartment rents were $400 a week, stable from September. Perth recorded a noticeable increase in median apartment rents month-on-month, rising 5.6% to $450 a week.

WHAT WILL A ROOM IN A RENTAL COST ME? 💰

Rent.com.au’s monthly report also looks at price per room, a metric that offers an alternate outlook on the approximate cost to rent a room in a home in Australia.

Considering the annual change from October 2021, apartments have recorded a far greater cost increase, up 15.4% in the last 12 months to $300 a week.

A room in a Sydney apartment will set renters back $350 a week (up 16.7% year-on-year).

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

Metro areaAPARTMENTS% change (annual)HOUSES% change (annual)
Sydney, NSW$35016.70%$2337.70%
Melbourne, VIC$27519.60%$1577.40%
Brisbane, QLD$27514.60%$17610.40%
Perth, WA$29028.90%$16011.60%
Adelaide, SA$20513.90%$16512.50%
Hobart, TAS$2257.10%$20011.10%
Darwin, NT$25025%$1906.50%
Canberra, ACT$2575.90%$2101.60%
National median$30015.40%$1768.20%
Source: 2022 Rent.com.au property listing data

HOW ARE THE REGIONS FARING? 🌳

Apartment rents across the regional markets have risen 11.6% year-on-year, with the highest of those changes seen in Queensland (up 13.6% to $500).

In October, the University of Melbourne-supported report An Intergenerational Visioning of Affordable Housing in a Regional Context was released, using the Murray River border towns of Eucha-Moama as a case study. The new research found that medium-density developments, affordable housing initiatives and repurposing buildings could solve the regional housing crisis.

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Table 3: % change to regional rents in October 2022

State/TerritoryOct-22% change from October '21
New South Wales$5008.70%
Victoria$4009.50%
Queensland$50013.60%
Western Australia$47011.90%
South Australia$35010.20%
Tasmania$42010.50%
Northern Territory$57510.50%
Aus. Capital Territoryn/an/a
National median$48011.60%
Source: 2022 Rent.com.au 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 11 median days to lease a property in Hobart in September was 48% slower than in September – and the most significant change to time on market for both property types across the board.

Darwin houses stayed on the market the longest in October, averaging 23 days listed on Rent.com.au before leasing. The most significant change for houses annually was recorded in Hobart, leasing 23% quicker than in October 2021. year.

Table 4: Monthly and annual change to time on market

Metro areaAPARTMENTSMonthly changeAnnual changeHOUSESMonthly changeAnnual change
Sydney, NSW16 days5% faster45% faster21 days2% faster1% faster
Melbourne, VIC19 days9% faster46% faster22 days1% faster10% faster
Brisbane, QLD12 daysNo change42% faster16 days8% slower4% faster
Perth, WA14 days8% faster24% faster14 days5% faster12% faster
Adelaide, SA14 days6% faster22% faster16 days2% faster6% slower
Hobart, TAS11 days48% faster42% faster14 days23% fasterNo change
Darwin, NT20 days5% fasterNo change23 days6% slower43% slower
Canberra, ACT18 days27% slower15% faster21 days19% slower3% slower
Source: 2022 Rent.com.au property listing data

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