Across the nation, rents have risen, according to Domain. Image – Canva.
  • Canberra the most expensive city to rent either a house or unit
  • Darwin in second place - house rents are now $593
  • For the first time on Domain's record, Melbourne is on par with Adelaide as the most affordable to rent

Domain has today released their Rent Report which has revealed national house rents have reached a record high – $477 per week.

Canberra remains the nation’s most expensive city to rent either a house or a unit. Notably, house rents surged by $30 during the June quarter to $630 a week – $60 above the same time last year – representing the strongest pace of yearly growth since 2007.

Darwin the most expensive after Canberra where house rents have reached $593 a week, up $43 over the quarter. There has been a 20.9% jump in house rents over the past year, representing the steepest growth since 2013.

Sydney is the third most expensive, at a record-high $550 per week for houses, although this figure is only $10 above the same time last year.  While overall units prices have declined, in some areas they are beginning to rise again.

“Remote working has encouraged tenants to shift to the outer suburbs or lifestyle locations within Greater Sydney,” said Dr Nicola Powell, Domain Chief of Research and Economics.

“Interestingly, prices in some inner-city areas are back on the rise, suggesting some tenants are looking to take advantage of lower rents or using the rent drop as a bargaining tool to negotiate a better deal elsewhere.

“Unit rents are continuing to decline on the back of closed international borders, and the number of tenants becoming homeowners increasing.”

Dr Nicola Powell, Domain Chief of Research and Economics

Interestingly, Melbourne, for the first time on Domain’s record, is on par with Adelaide as the most affordable city to rent a house in at $430. Unit asking rents have also recorded a drop of $10 to $365 – $50 lower than last year.

“Prior to the pandemic, most Melbourne regions were at or close to record high rents,” noted Dr Powell.

“The ability to work remotely has created opportunity for tenants to move further afield while reduced rental demand from overseas migration and foreign students has weighed particularly heavily on inner-city rents.”

Despite this, vacant rentals in the inner city continue to decline. Dr Powell suggests this is due to more tenants returning to the city, taking advantage of lower rents or landlords have sold.

In the other markets, Brisbane’s house rents have reached a record high of $450 a week with units holding a record high of $400 a week.

In Adelaide, rents nudged $5 to a new record of $430 with units remaining at $350. Notably, Adelaide is on par with Hobart – where house rents are now $495 a week –  as the most competitive capital city rental market in Australia as stock continues to slide.

Interstate migration to Adelaide has also facilitated the boost in demand.

“…as Adelaide’s lifestyle, economic confidence and the state’s well-handled approach to the pandemic draws new and returning residents. Properties remain affordable in Adelaide, particularly to those moving from the east coast.”

Both house and unit rentals have hit a six-year high in Perth, after houses surged by $80 over the past year, although they remain $40 below the peak in mid-2013. This is despite the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIWA) claiming that Perth is the most affordable place to rent in the country.

“The flow of residents away from Perth has previously been a drag on the demand for housing; but with a positive net flow of interstate residents, Perth’s vacancy rate remains firmly at a multi-year low,” said Dr Powell.

“This gives tenants less choice and landlords greater ground to raise rents. Investors are starting to react to strong property price growth, low-interest rates, rising rents and the perceived value that Perth offers compared to the east coast.”

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