Building boom helps keep lid on house, apartment rents around capital cities

Wednesday 10 Jul 2019

A building boom across major Australian cities is helping to keep a lid on rent increases despite strong population growth, new figures show.

But tenants in some capitals still face high costs, with Canberra and Sydney renters slugged well over $500 a week for the average house.

“It’s the supply and demand story,” Domain economist Trent Wiltshire said of the Domain Rental Report for the June quarter, released on Wednesday.

“When construction increases that generally keeps a lid on rents. But the other side of the coin is when there’s really strong population growth, you need to build a lot just to keep rent growth at CPI.”

Canberra still has the highest house rents in the country, at a median weekly asking rent of $550, the report shows.

Sydney is close behind with a $530 median weekly rent, although this has edged down over the past year.

And Hobart has overtaken Melbourne to be the country’s third most expensive city for rents.

But Brisbane may be the best city to be a renter right now, with a median house rent of $400, the same price as in 2013, Mr Wiltshire said.

Median weekly asking rents, houses

 

Jun-19

Jun-18

QoQ

YoY

Sydney

$530

$550

-1.9%

-3.6%

Melbourne

$430

$430

-2.3%

0.0%

Brisbane

$400

$400

-2.4%

0.0%

Adelaide

$385

$375

-1.3%

2.7%

Perth

$365

$350

0.0%

4.3%

Canberra

$550

$550

-3.5%

0.0%

Darwin

$490

$500

-2.0%

-2.0%

Hobart

$450

$410

0.0%

9.8%

Combined Cities

$440

$442

-1.7%

0.0%

Source: Domain rental report, June quarter

 

Sydney

Sydneysiders weary of high housing costs are finding some relief, with the city recording its largest annual fall in rents in 15 years as new housing stock is built.

Apartment rents in the harbour city fell 4.5 per cent over the past year, but at $525 a week they remain the most expensive in the country.

House rents are $20 cheaper than the same time a year ago, but are the second-highest in the nation at $530 a week.

Although the drop in house rents was “pretty minimal”, the declines are “definitely good for renters”, Mr Wiltshire said.

“Prices have increased a decent amount for the past few years,” he said.

“It’s proof that building more houses does work in reducing housing costs, it can just take a while.

“Sydney’s been through its big apartment construction boom and that directly impacts unit rents but it also has an impact on houses because they’re substitutes.”

- Elizabeth Redman