Skyrocketing Rent Prices and the Growing Pain of Tenants in Australian Coastal Towns - Property Inc

Skyrocketing Rent Prices and the Growing Pain of Tenants in Australian Coastal Towns

Australia’s picturesque coastal towns are becoming a growing cause for concern as rent prices continue to soar, with the South Australian seaside town of Port Elliot experiencing a staggering 250 per cent increase in rental costs over the past five years. Rent stress is also heightened in Stanthorpe in Queensland and Strathalbyn in South Australia, which are topping the list of the nation’s most stressed suburbs for tenants. This evolving scenario threatens the very charm and appeal these coastal havens have always held.

Property reporter, Maria Gil, in her recent article for Domain Rent Report, notes that the median asking rent price for a house in Port Elliot has risen to $1050 a week, a significant increase from previous years. Local real estate agent, Matt Oldham, reveals that this steep hike is due to a unique cycle of property investment that has been amplified by the COVID-19 property boom. “There isn’t much work in Port Elliot so it’s not your typical rental area,” he says. “About 60 to 70 per cent of our buyers are interstate buyers looking to move down here down the line,” Oldham adds.

Further reinforcing this trend is data revealed by analyst Samantha Healy’s article for Suburbtrends, showcasing Australia’s top 25 most stressed suburbs for renters. Both Stanthorpe and Strathalbyn scored a shocking 91 on the rental pain scale, the highest across the country.

“The significant increase in rental prices over the past year in Queensland is a clear contributor to the heightened rental pain felt by residents,” Suburbtrends founder Kent Lardner explains. “Queensland not only leads the pack in rental pain but also boasts the largest average 12-month rental increase at a staggering 16.33 per cent. Similar trends are observed in South Australia and Western Australia, where rental prices have risen by approximately 15.95 per cent and 15.37 per cent respectively.”

The evolving rent scenario is complex and influenced by various factors, with Lardner stressing, “Factors such as economic conditions, population growth, and housing policies all play a role.” He also warns about the importance of housing construction keeping pace with population growth, especially in places like Queensland, which has seen a significant influx of interstate migration during the pandemic.

Master Builders Australia chief executive Denita Wawn emphasizes the urgent need for action, stating, “Unless every box is being ticked, we’re just going to be treading water.” She calls for a multifaceted approach from the Queensland government to alleviate the current housing crisis, indicating that years of poor planning for a growing population have led to inflated land costs, thus making it viable only for developers to build higher-end apartments and homes.

While Australia’s coastal towns continue to draw crowds for their serene beauty and relaxed lifestyle, the exorbitant rent prices and growing stress among tenants are real concerns that demand immediate attention and sustainable solutions.


The tiny Aussie seaside town where the cost of renting has gone up by 250 per cent in five years by Maria Gil. 

Australia’s top 25 most stressed suburbs for renters revealed by Samantha Healy. 

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