More pain for city tenants as rents rise at a ‘rapid pace’

Rents have continued to soar, particularly for units in major capitals.

Rents have continued to soar, particularly for units in major capitals. Photo: TND

Australia’s rental crisis just gets worse, with another sizeable jump in prices over the September quarter.

Data published by PropTrack on Thursday shows national median advertised rents shot up 3.8 per cent over the three months ending September, driven by a 4 per cent hike in unit prices.

PropTrack director of economic research Cameron Kusher said further increases are on the horizon in major capital cities, despite rents having already increased at a “rapid pace” in 2023.

“The ongoing rapid rate of population growth, coupled with a persistent reduction in the supply of properties available for rent, have maintained the pressure on the cost of renting, particularly in major capital cities,” he said.

Highest rents in Sydney

Advertised rental prices increased 14.6 per cent in the past year, up from 14 per cent in the previous quarter and 10.3 per cent in the period to September last year.

In dollar terms, median advertised house rents are $550 a week nationwide, while units are sitting at $520 a week.

That figure is highest in Sydney, where the median rent is $690 for a house and $630 for a unit, and lowest in regional South Australia, where the median house rent is $360 ($275 for a unit weekly).

Source: PropTrack (click to enlarge).

Units rents lifted 15.6 per cent over the year while house rents were unchanged over the September quarter and up 10 per cent annually.

“House rents have been unchanged for six months, while unit rents have continued to rise. We expect the difference in price between houses and units to narrow over the coming months,” Kusher said.

Capital cities are also outpacing regional markets, with rents rising 12.2 per cent in major cities compared to 6.7 per cent in regional areas – a trend Kusher said was likely to continue.

“Rental growth is likely to continue in the major capital cities,” he said.

“The flatlining of regional rents over the past six months may point to softer rents for the regions in the coming months.”

The strongest markets for rental growth over the September quarter were regional Western Australia, Melbourne and Sydney.

Meanwhile, Hobart, Canberra and regional Tasmania experienced the steepest falls in rent prices.

Horror few years

The PropTrack figures are the latest piece of bad news for renters after a horror few years with steep price increases since the pandemic.

There was optimism that rent price growth might peak in 2023, but separate forecasts predict many markets will continue to see strong price growth for the foreseeable future.

Tenants in Melbourne and Sydney are set to be squeezed hardest, with InvestorKit figures suggesting rents could rise between $2600 and $3900 annually in just 12 to 24 months’ time.

Against that backdrop, some Australians are starting to vent their frustration about rising prices and poor rental standards nationwide, on a new online platform called

More than 1000 renters have contacted the website in recent weeks, expressing anger and frustration about mould infestations, repair delays and real estate agents.

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