Rent.com.au has released its latest report for January 2019 based on property leasing data.
The report illustrates the shift in Australian median rental property prices (both metro and regional) rental affordability (the median room price metric) and days on market.
- Three cities saw a jump in median rental price for houses in the first month of the year, but for Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Hobart, price growth was stagnant.
- Melbourne’s apartment rents surged in January, now third highest in the country.
- Signs of green shoots are emerging in Brisbane’s rental market, with median weekly house and apartment rents recording growth for the first time in months.
- Across all property types, Perth was the cheapest place to rent a room in January at $126/week.
Table 1: How the states and territories compared in January 2019
Median rent (apartments v houses) and price per room
Median apartment rents across the country jumped 2.3% to $450/week in January, according to new data from Rent.com.au. Melbourne (up 5%), Adelaide (up 3.3%), Sydney (up 3.3%) and Brisbane (1.3%) were key contributors to the change month-on-month.
A 5% increase in apartment median rents in Melbourne topped the list for price rises month-on-month, contrasted by a similar decline in prices (12.5% down) in Hobart and Darwin metro.
Sydney started 2019 at the top of the list, unchanged as the most expensive metro area for Australian renters looking to rent an apartment ($520/week) or house ($600/week). Sydney’s asking rents are comparable to the country’s most affordable city for apartments in January, Adelaide($310/week).
Shared accommodation bargains abound in Perth
Perth was the cheapest place in Australia to rent a house ($370/week), as well as an individual room in January. The data showed that Sydney(somewhat unsurprisingly) topped the list at $267/week for a single room, followed by Canberra($215/week) and Melbourne ($185/week).
RENT Chief Executive Officer, Greg Bader said much of the existing data on rental property prices has been developed for property owners (i.e. dwelling price), which was why RENT developed its own individual measurement. “Our price per room metric is a different way to look at the cost of renting, a more accurate representation for people looking to share a home with others,” he said.
Canberra apartments recorded the most significant increase in room price year-on-year, up 12% to $350/week from January 2018.
Table 2: 12 month change in Price Per Room
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High regional rents hit home in the Northern Territory
Regional Northern Territory was the most unaffordable across the country for the average renter in January. Prices for rentals in the territory’s outlying regions were $470/week. Both South Australia and Victoria recorded an increase in median rents month-on-month, up 7.7% (SA) and 3.3% (VIC) respectively. Median rents remained relatively healthy across the rest of the country, with the only price drop seen in Queensland, down 1.3% to $370/week.
Table 3: Regional Rents | % change between Dec 2018 and Jan 2019
Melbourne market on January slowdown
“As many renters view the start of the year as the ideal time to find a new home, January is typically a busier month for rental properties than any other time of the year,” said Mr Bader. “With high demand from tenants comes an influx of new rental listings and available properties to rent which can lead to increased competition.”
The new data for January showed a general increase in the time apartments and houses were on market, month-on-month. Activity slowed most significantly in Melbourne houses, where properties took an average of 29.9 days in January to shift, 36% longer than in December 2018. Year-on-year, it was Perth apartments that showed the biggest improvement, with leasing periods up 22.1% on January 2018, now 37 days.
Table 4: Days on market | % change in no. days on market (Apartments v Houses)