Rental tenants are still facing challenges due to increasing rental costs and a shortage of available options. Recent data reveals that the overall number of rental listings has reached an all-time low.
According to PropTrack data, there was a 5.7% decrease in the number of new rental listings in September compared to the previous year. This marks the lowest number of new listings for the month of September in over 10 years. Additionally, the total number of rental listings decreased by 7.1% from the previous year, reaching a record low.
According to the PropTrack report, the national vacancy rate has reached a new low of 1.1%, a decrease from 1.3% in the previous year. The report also states that the number of inquiries per listing has slightly increased from 24.5 to 24.8 compared to a year ago.
Limited supply and strong demand has seen rental prices increase. The national median weekly advertised rent on realestate.com.au at the end of the September 2023 quarter was $550 a week, up 3.8% over the quarter and 14.6% over the year.
From September 2022 to September 2023, rental prices in capital cities saw a rise of 12.2%, while regional rental prices increased by 6.7%.
Register for Guardian Australia’s complimentary newsletters in the morning and afternoon for a daily summary of news.
Cameron Kusher, the author of the report and director of economic research for PropTrack, stated that the current market continues to be difficult, as renters are encountering fierce competition for a scarce supply of rental properties.
Kushner stated that these circumstances have resulted in a significant increase in rental expenses in the past year.
For individuals looking to purchase their first home, increasing rental rates pose a challenge in saving enough for a down payment. Additionally, lending restrictions have tightened and housing costs are on the rise, creating barriers to achieving home ownership.
“We anticipate that rental rates will continue to rise in the main urban areas as a result of a consistent shortage of supply and high demand.”
According to him, beyond the major cities, it was expected that the increase in rental prices would continue to decrease.
PropTrack is the analytics division of REA Group, which does not advertise the number of listings but uses data from realestate.com.au to compile the monthly report.
Affordable housing advocates have raised concerns about the tightening market, stating that urgent intervention is necessary to prevent people from being pushed into unstable housing situations.
Maiy Azize, the representative for Everybody’s Home, stated that the limited availability of rental housing is putting pressure on renters and highlights the immediate requirement for more affordable housing options.
According to her, Australia has constructed more than one million new residences in the past ten years. However, these figures reveal that these homes are not reaching those who require them.
Dependence on the private sector has proven ineffective. It is only through the actions of the federal government that affordable rental options can be made available to those in need, at the necessary time and location.
“Australia requires 500,000 new homes in order to address our shortage of social housing and provide stability for renters amidst a fluctuating market.”