Australia’s Affordable Rental Crisis Deepens as Costs Skyrocket - Property Inc

Australia’s Affordable Rental Crisis Deepens as Costs Skyrocket

In a startling display of the mounting housing crisis in Australia, the latest PropTrack data reveals a sharp decline in affordable rental properties, putting immense pressure on low and middle-income earners across the nation. As rental prices surge, the availability of homes priced under $400 per week is dwindling rapidly, transforming affordable housing into a rare commodity.

Caroline Riches, in her piece ‘Completely priced out’: Affordable rentals vanishing across Australia, highlights the plight of individuals like Leanne Gunsberger Theisz. After moving to Cairns to be near her ageing father, Theisz finds herself priced out of the rental market, her aspirations for a simple, secure home thwarted by skyrocketing costs. “I don’t want a major thing. I just want something that’s not going to blow down in a cyclone. And I’d love to get a dog. But I’m completely priced out,” Theisz shares with realestate.com.au.

The data from PropTrack’s Market Insight Report paints a grim picture: only 10.4% of rental properties are now listed at less than $400 per week nationally, a steep fall from 15.5% in April 2023 and 43.2% in March 2020. In capital cities, the situation is even more dire, with a mere 5.9% of listings priced below $400, marking a significant drop from the previous years.

Eleanor Creagh, a senior economist at PropTrack, notes the distressing trend, stating, “People are likely to be spending an increasing share of their income on rent, so a lot more will be facing financial stress. It’s really challenging.”

The rental market’s tightening grip is felt across regional areas as well, with only 16.3% of houses in these markets now advertised for under $400 a week, down from 21.5% in April 2023 and 56.2% in March 2020. Real estate agents like John Maugeri and Jasmyn Wright echo the data’s implications, witnessing first-hand the struggle to find affordable housing amidst a backdrop of burgeoning demand and insufficient supply.

Maugeri, who has been with Ray White Parramatta Oatlands Northmead for over 26 years, describes the current market conditions as “horrendous.” He explains, “A lot of people are getting pushed further west to find housing.” Meanwhile, Wright struggles to manage the overwhelming demand in Perth, where a one-bedroom now commands prices up to $850 a week.

Despite the bleak outlook, Creagh offers a sliver of optimism, suggesting that the steep climb in rental prices may be starting to plateau. “While rental prices are still likely to increase, we’re unlikely to see rental price growth continuing at the pace it has been over the past two years,” she explains.

This ongoing crisis underscores the urgent need for robust policy intervention to increase the supply of affordable rentals and alleviate the financial burden on Australia’s renters. As the market tightens and prices climb, the dream of affordable living seems increasingly out of reach for many Australians.

References:

https://www.realestate.com.au/news/completely-priced-out-affordable-rentals-vanishing-across-australia/ 

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