number of affordable rentals extremely low according to new report
The number of affordable rentals continue to dry up. Image: Canva.
  • The latest report from PropTrack looks at rentals below $400 per week
  • Number of rentals below that threshold have diminished dramatically
  • Nationally, rental prices have risen almost 20% over the past 12 months

The proportion of total rental listings below $400 per week has hit new lows, according to a PropTrack report.

For February 2023- and all dwelling types, the report found that only 17.6% of properties listed for rent on were going for less than $400 per week. This is the lowest level since late 2018.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, the report found the share of properties for rent under $400 per week was 42.5%, with the percentage a little lower in February 2022 at 32.8%.

Cameron Kusher, PropTrack Director of Economic Research and report author. Image: PropTrack.

Report author and PropTrack director of economic research Cameron Kusher wrote:

“Demand for rentals is far outstripping supply, pushing weekly rents higher and the vacancy rate lower. As a result, there has been a significant reduction in rentals available for less than $400 per week since the onset of the pandemic.

“The share of total rental listings under $400 per week has halved over the past year in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth Canberra, and regional WA.”

Share of total rental listings below $400 per week – February 2023

proptrack february 2023 affordable rental report
Source: PropTrack Report February 2023.

Houses across the capital cities saw the proportion of cheaper rentals slide from 22.6% to 10.7%, whereas units in the capitals went from 37.1% to 18.1%.

The regions saw similar reductions by percentage points for houses but units saw a smaller decrease.

Kusher also noted that, “We are now starting to see much larger declines in the share of listings under $400 per week in capital cities as opposed to regional areas. Houses are also seeing the share decline faster than units.

“With demand for rentals intensifying, we see no reprieve for tenants in the coming months.

“The fall in the availability of more affordable rentals and the surging competition for rental stock is creating challenges for those on lower incomes or government support payments as they try to source increasingly scarce rental accommodation.”

Rents across the major capitals have been moving up at frightening rates. SQM Research’s weekly rents index found that across units and houses in Sydney, the percentage change has been up 33.1%, with the latest asking weekly asking rent in Sydney coming in at an eye-watering $766.

Melbourne is not far behind, with the combined rise over the past 12 months recorded as 26.9% by SQM’s rental index. Rents in the home of laneway culture are less steep than Sydney, with the latest at $565 per week.

Nationally, rents are up 18% over the past 12 months, with SQM data showing the latest rents are $568 per week.

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