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$439: Surprising Aussie city with the cheapest house rent

·3-min read
(Source: Getty)
(Source: Getty)

If you’ve always wanted to move to Australia’s ‘garden city’, you’re in luck: Melbourne is now the cheapest place in Australia to rent a house.

“For the first time on record Melbourne is the most affordable city to rent a house at $430 per week, now on par with Adelaide,” said Domain’s June 2021 Rent Report.

In the March 2021 quarter, Adelaide was actually the cheapest Aussie city to rent a house, at $425.

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This was followed by Melbourne and Perth, which were both neck and neck at $430 at the time.

And while Melbourne’s rent hasn’t budged, Adelaide’s rent has risen to $430 while Perth’s has jumped by $20 to $450.

Domain Rent Report June 2021. (Source: Domain)
Domain Rent Report June 2021. (Source: Domain)

Melbourne now the most affordable capital city to rent a house

“Prior to the pandemic, most Melbourne regions were at or close to record high rents,” Domain’s report said.

The new era of remote work triggering the exodus of CBD workers to regional areas, combined with the lack of demand typically driven by migrant workers, has driven down inner-city rent prices, the report said.

This is providing tenants with an opportunity to negotiate rent or shift to an area that has experienced significant reductions.

Posters advertising a strike in support of renters are seen on the side of a store in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. (Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg)
Posters advertising a strike in support of renters are seen on the side of a store in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. (Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg)

Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the spectrum, Darwin is now Australia’s second-most expensive city to rent a house, at $593, far more expensive than Sydney, at $550.

The cost of house rents in Canberra, which was already the nation’s most expensive at $600 in the March quarter, rose even further to $630 in the June quarter.

Spotlight on: Sydney

Sydney’s rental market has been stable, with the weekly asking rent price having stayed the same for nine months for houses and six months for units.

The ‘stampede’ of Aussies flocking to regional cities has also caused inner-city Sydney rents to fall to eight-year lows, while prices have been pushed to record highs at the fringes of Sydney, such as the Northern Beaches, Central Coast, Sutherland, the outer west, and more.

“Interestingly, prices in some inner city-areas are back on the rise, suggesting some tenants are looking to take advantage of lower rents or using the rent drop as a bargaining tool to negotiate a better deal elsewhere,” the report said.

“Unit rents are continuing to decline on the back of closed international borders, and the number of tenants becoming homeowners increasing.”

What’s happening in Darwin?

Darwin’s house rents have been climbing for a year now. At $593, the Northern Territory capital’s house rent is $103 more expensive than they were this time last year ($490).

“House rents have reached the highest level since mid-2015 after surging $43 over the quarter to $593 a week,” the report said.

The pandemic has been a boon for landlords, with the data suggesting new residents are choosing to lease rather than buy.

“Working remotely has opened relocation opportunities, changing border restrictions have also kept residents in Darwin longer than originally planned. As Australia contemplates its pandemic path to recovery, Darwin’s revived rental market hinges on economic and jobs growth.”

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