Melbourne the only city with cheaper rents than pre-pandemic times. Image – Canva
  • A new report on rents in the September quarter has been released by Domain
  • Most capital cities are reaching record high rents
  • Landlords are warned to think twice before increasing rents

The September quarter saw rental asking prices for houses hit record highs across Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra, and while maintaining record high in Hobart, according to Domain‘s latest report.

Melbourne on the flip side is experiencing its first time as the cheapest capital to rent a house.

The city which also recently acquired the sombre title of most locked-down city in the world is also the only Australian capital to have asking prices for houses cheaper than pre-pandemic prices in March 2020.

Nicola Powell, Domain’s Chief of Economics and Research explained that Melbourne’s weak rental market growth can be attributed to ongoing lockdowns.

She encourages Melburnian tenants to enjoy the lowered rents while they last.

“It is a good sign for tenants who are wanting more space and now is the time to negotiate on asking rents to secure a good deal.”

Nicola Powell, Domain Chief of Economics and Research

“However, we have seen that vacancy rates have continued to decline, suggesting that the empty pool of rentals will continue to shrink and rents will not stay this low for much longer,” said Dr Powell.

Record rents

The broader rental market across Australia has maintained strong rental market growth, this is notwithstanding a near stagnant population growth.

In the last quarter, rents have increased for houses in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, and Darwin with combined capitals across the country seeing a 2.5% increase.

For units, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Darwin experienced growth with the national unit rents rising 2.5% during the quarter.

This growth can be attributed to a shortage of rental supply, prolonged government stimulus packages and the desire for more space.

Kasey McDonald, Head of Leasing at property management agency Different, is encouraging landlords to think twice before changing their rental asking prices in response to the strong market.

“We are making sure that we let landlords know very clearly that they should be monitoring what is particularly going on in their own suburb.”

Ms McDonald is urging them to ” …make sure that they are comparing their property to other similar properties instead of broadly looking at how the market is achieving these rental increases.”

House rent prices – quarterly and annual change

Capital City Sep-21 Jun-21 Sep-20 QoQ YoY
Sydney $580 $550 $550
Melbourne $430 $430 $440
Brisbane $460 $450 $415
Adelaide $440 $430 $400
Canberra $645 $630 $580
Perth $450 $450 $395
Hobart $495 $495 $450
Darwin $620 $593 $495
Combined Capitals $488 $477 $463
Source: Domain

Unit rent prices – quarterly and annual change

Capital City Sep-21 Jun-21 Sep-20 QoQ YoY
Sydney $485 $470 $495
Melbourne $370 $365 $400
Brisbane $410 $400 $395
Adelaide $350 $350 $340
Canberra $520 $500 $480
Perth $380 $380 $340
Hobart $400 $400 $395
Darwin $470 $450 $390
National $438 $427 $447
Source: Domain


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