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Rent crisis: Homes below $400 per week at ‘record low’

A sign out the front of a home that was for rent but has a sticker on it to indicate it has been leased and the roofs of houses and the CBD in the background.
Renters are having a tougher time than ever finding an affordable property. (Source: Getty)

Finding a rental property below $400 per week is a hard task, with new research showing the number of affordable rentals is at a record low.

According to the PropTrack Market Insight report, properties listed for rent on realestate.com.au for less than $400 per week nationally fell to just 19.3 per cent in September 2022, down from 41.8 per cent at the start of the pandemic.

Just 16.4 per cent of capital city rental listings were under $400 per week in September 2022.

The share was 36.1 per cent at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

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However, those in regional areas will have a little more luck. The share of listings under $400 per week was 28.2 per cent in September 2022, but still down from 57 per cent in March 2020.

Not one capital city had more than a quarter of listings below $400 a week in September 2022.

Which city is the most expensive?

If you’re looking to live in the ACT, Hobart or Darwin, think again. They all have the lowest share of listings under $400 a week - all under 10 per cent.

In Sydney, one in five rentals were advertised under $400 per week a year ago, falling to only one in 10 in September.

Over the past year, Melbourne (down 20.4 per cent), Adelaide (down 19 per cent) and Brisbane (down 16.6 per cent) saw the biggest decline in the share of listings available to rent under $400 a week.

And it's expected to get worse. The PropTrack report said with the supply of rental properties continuing to tighten, the share of listings under $400 a week was expected to drop even further next year.

Rental crunch hitting households hard

Aussie renters on average forked out an extra $62 a week on rent last year, or more than $3,000 a year, research from the parliamentary library - commissioned by the Greens - found.

The average rental cost climbed 13.8 per cent over the past 12 months.

Rents rose from an average of $448 a week in June 2021 to $510 a week in June 2022 for households managed by a real estate agent.

The increase was slightly lower for private rentals.

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