Rents growing at historic rates

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Rents growing at historic rates, vacancies at record lows

New figures released on the Australian rental market have reinforced the bad news facing everyday working Australians.

New figures on Australia’s housing market have made for grim reading for renters, with prices increasing at historic rates and availability descending to record lows.

In figures released on Thursday by PropTrack, the national rental vacancy rate is shown to have dropped to 1.6 per cent, a historic low, while rents grew at their fastest quarterly rate in September, up 4.3 per cent.

The study said the tight demand on rentals, notably across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, was further evidenced by declining listings on, which the report said fell 20.5 per in September based on year-by-year calculations to their lowest since 2003.

New figures show Australia’s rental market has never been tougher for current or prospective tenants, with vacancy rates falling to historic lows. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift

New listings fell month-on-month 10.4 per cent, while demand per listing increased at 18.8 per cent over the year, the report found.

The increasingly tight rental market is also demonstrated by the reduction in the number of days a rental is advertised on, down to an average of 19 days in September, according to the report.

Cameron Kusher, PropTrack director of economic research and the author of the report, said new mortgage lending had been trending down in conjunction with low lending to investors, factors which had been exacerbating the rental crisis.

“With few investors purchasing homes to rent out, the limited supply of stock, coupled with strong demand, is leading to heightened increases in advertised rental prices,” Mr Kusher said.

According to data from, demand per rental listing increased more than 18 per cent over the year. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

He said in August this year new lending to investors was $8.9 billion, its lowest since June 2021, while the share of overall lending to investors remained stubbornly below its long term average.

Mr Kusher said the rental crunch had shifted back towards Australia’s major cities, which he attributed to post-pandemic overseas immigration and people returning from rural centres popular during lockdowns.

It was most acute in Melbourne and Sydney, he said.

“Most overseas migrants to Australia settle in these cities, with few purchasing property before their arrival,” Mr Kusher said.

Cameron Kusher, director of economic research at PropTrack, said major cities were experiencing the biggest growth in rental demands. Picture: Toby Zerna

He said none of the factors contributing to the tight rental market appeared set to change in the near future.

Melbourne experienced the strongest year-on-year growth in rental listing demand at 45.8 per cent, followed by Sydney at 26.8 per cent and Brisbane, 25.9 per cent.

In its first budget, handed down on Tuesday, Anthony Albanese’s Labor government outlined plans to build one million new homes by the end of the current decade as part of an “accord” between federal and state governments and private sectors.

Housing and rents, which earlier this month federal Greens leader Adam Bandt called to be paused, are also shaping to be key issues at next month’s Victorian election, with the Victorian Greens already unveiling plans to build 100,000 new homes over the next 10 years.

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down his first budget on Tuesday, in which he outlined plans to build one million new homes over the next 10 years. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage

The dire rental figures come amid increasingly concerning times financially for Australians.

This week, the annual rate of inflation reached 7.3 per cent, its highest since 1990, while Treasury estimates also predicted retail electricity to increase 20 per cent by the end of the year.

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