CANBERRA remains the most expensive state or territory to rent a house or unit and tenants are finding it harder to secure a lease, according to the Domain Rent Report for the March quarter.
Released today (April 15), Domain senior research analyst Dr Nicola Powell said the average rental price for a house was $600 a week over the past quarter. The average price for a unit was $500 a week.
“House rents held steady over the quarter but are 3.4 per cent higher annually,” she said.
“Unit rents increased another $5 over the March quarter, 4.2 per cent higher year-on-year. This has pushed the price gap further from Sydney, with Canberra unit rents now $30 more than renting a unit in Sydney. It is also $50 a week more expensive to rent a house in Canberra than the next most expensive cities – Sydney and Darwin.”
Tenants have been operating in a landlords’ market for some time, and landlords are likely to have become accustomed to the fierce competition to secure a lease, Ms Powell said.
“The vacancy rate fell further in March to 0.7 per cent, similar to the tight rental conditions seen in 2018 when rental prices were rising,” she said.
“Tenants will find the task of securing a lease harder, as the estimated number of vacant rentals continues to decline, 14 per cent lower than last year.
“This is during a time Australian expats return, temporary overseas employees extend stays and the city is better placed economically, buoyed by the public sector and industries reliant on government spending.”
According to the report, house rents in all capital cities except Melbourne, Perth and Darwin hit record highs in the March quarter.
Melbourne’s rental market has seen significant price falls for house and unit rents over the last year and quarter. It is now the second most affordable capital city to rent in Australia, tied with Perth, after inner Melbourne unit rents dropped by $110 a week.
All other capitals have seen median rental asking prices hold steady or increase over the quarter and year, apart from units in Sydney, which recorded the steepest annual fall since Domain records began in 2004.
Outer-city regions saw median rental asking prices rise as demand continues. The Northern Beaches, Sutherland, outer south west, outer west and Blue Mountains in NSW, the outer east, south east and Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, and the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast in Queensland recorded median rental asking price growth as demand for properties in outer regions continues.
Darwin and Perth saw the greatest median asking rent increases for houses and units over the year when rental prices increased by $70 a week in some areas, although this is still below 2013 prices.