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$480 a week: This is the cheapest Aussie capital city for renters

A sign out the front of a property in an urban suburb that indicates it is for rent and Australian currency.
Melbourne has overtaken Adelaide as being the cheapest capital city for renters. (Source: Getty)

Adelaide is no longer the most affordable city for renters, with Melbourne now the cheapest place to rent.

Rents in the South Australian capital surged by 4.3 per cent for the quarter, marking the strongest quarterly growth rate since 2005 when CoreLogic started recording rents.

The average rental in the city is now sitting at $492 per week, sitting behind Melbourne where the typical rent is around $480 a week.

Canberra remains the country’s most expensive rental market, with the typical renter forking out $690 a week.

A Corelogic chart showing the change in rent prices.
(Source: CoreLogic)

Australia is facing a rental affordability crisis, with around 2.7 million Australians facing rental stress as rates surge nationwide.

CoreLogic research analyst Kaytlin Ezzy said rents had recorded their highest annual growth since December 2008, which was caused by record levels of international migration.

“The current surge in rental demand has occurred largely in the absence of overseas migration and has instead been driven by factors including low supply and a decrease in the average household size which has amplified domestic rental demand over the COVID period to date,” Ezzy said.

For renters, there’s few signs of relief, with low levels of investment in medium and high-density housing stock between 2017 and 2021 limiting the supply of housing.

While renters are likely to respond to affordability pressures by forming larger households, the report said the predicted return of international migration is likely to keep pressure on the rental market.

Rent control pitched as solution to soaring rents

The Greens plan to introduce a bill to parliament today to cap rents in South Australia and limit rental hikes to once every two years.

Under the policy, rent increases would be restricted to the rate of inflation.

Greens’ housing spokesperson Robert Simms said rent control had been implemented in other places, including Ireland, Spain and New York, and that it would protect South Australians from homelessness and poverty.

”We need rent controls to ensure that renters are protected,” Simms said. “Rent increases of 10 to 20 per cent are crippling for families.”

According to the SA Housing Authority, rental prices had increased 20 per cent over the past two years.

“The shortage of affordable rentals means we have more South Australians being forced to sleep on the street, in cars and caravans. We can’t simply leave people at the mercy of the free market.”

Under such a scheme, he said landlords would not be penalised for making substantial improvements to the property, and that these landlords could appeal to the tribunal to lift rents higher.

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