Brisbane unit rents are the second most expensive in the country, but relief may soon be on the way
Experts are predicting little to no rental growth this coming quarter. Image: Canva.
  • Brisbane was equal second with Canberra for the most expensive unit rents.
  • Moderate to no rental growth is expected for this coming quarter.
  • First home buyers pivoting from houses to units could pose stiff competition for unit renters.

Renting in Brisbane became more expensive as 2023 closed out, with Brisbane renters shelling out more on rentals than Melburnians.

The latest PropTrack (December) and Domain (December quarter) data has revealed renting in Brisbane costs around $600 per week.

Renting a house will cost between $600 (Domain) and $620 (PropTrack) per week, while a unit will set you back $560 (Domain, PropTrack) per week.

Annually, the cost of Brisbane rents has soared some 9.1% across houses and units, according to PropTrack, with houses incurring the lesser of the rises at 7.8% according to PropTrack and 9.1% according to Domain, while Brisbane unit rents surged 16.7% year-on-year according to both PropTrack and Domain.

The cost of renting a house in Brisbane

Capital City Dec-23 Sep-23 Dec-22 QoQ YoY
Sydney $730 $720 $650
Melbourne $550 $550 $480
Brisbane $600 $590 $550
Adelaide $560 $550 $500
Perth $620 $600 $530
Canberra $680 $660 $690
Darwin $650 $650 $620
Hobart $550 $530 $550
Combined Capitals $600 $600 $550
Combined Regionals $530 $520 $500

Source: Domain.

The 1.7% rise in Brisbane housing rents during the latest quarter was a repeat of the previous quarter’s result. Domain noted in its report that while this shows persistent growth, Brisbane rental price growth was slower than in the early pandemic years (2021-2022).

Brisbane unit rents rose for the tenth consecutive quarter, continuing the city’s record-long, steepest stretch of rising rents, according to Domain. However, the pace of those gains has halved compared to the previous quarter.

The cost of renting a unit in Brisbane

Capital City Dec-23 Sep-23 Dec-22 QoQ YoY
Sydney $680 $680 $580
Melbourne $520 $520 $450
Brisbane $560 $550 $480
Adelaide $450 $450 $400
Perth $520 $500 $440
Canberra $560 $550 $560
Darwin $540 $520 $520
Hobart $450 $450 $470
Combined Capitals $600 $595 $500
Combined Regionals $450 $450 $410
Source: Domain.

Brisbane rental growth could level off this quarter

Reval managing director, Adam Scott, told The Property Tribune that he does not expect much growth over the quarter:

“Rents seem to have stabilised in Brisbane over the last few months. It seems like the market has found its new level,” said Scott.

“I am expecting very moderate growth or no change over the coming quarter.”

Adam Scott, Reval

Scott also observed an increase in renter demand this month, particularly for units. However, “This is common as most agencies avoid leases expiring in December so January typically has a bit more turnover.

“But the increased demand and increased supply seem to be evenly met so far.”

Rental affordability in Brisbane remains a poignant issue, with Scott noting that:

“A large percentage of applications received on rental properties do not meet affordability requirements, meaning that people are trying to over-extend themselves simply to have a place to live.

“But with demand still stronger than supply I don’t see rental prices dropping anytime in the near future unless some significant economic factors change.”

Vacancy rates remain sub-1%

The latest Domain data shows Brisbane recorded a vacancy rate of 0.9% in the December quarter of 2023. This represents a 0.2 percentage point rise from 0.7% recorded in the September quarter.

Compared to the December quarter of 2022, however, vacancy rates remained flat, with 2022 also closing out at 0.9%.

“Lack of building is a major factor in Brisbane for rental supply,” said Scott.

“New unit projects have been few and far between in the last couple of years, and there appears to be no change on the horizon.”

“Added to this, many first home buyers have been completely priced out of the house market so have pivoted to townhouses and units, which is reducing the supply of rental units available.”

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