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Rental pain as listings fall to record low: ‘Extremely challenging’

Rental listings across Australia’s capital cities are at their lowest since 2003.

Rental inspection. For lease sign.
Aussies are in for more rental pain as demand rises and listings drop. (Source: Getty)

Rental pressure has intensified across Australia’s capital cities, with the number of available properties dropping to their lowest level in 20 years.

PropTrack’s latest Rental Report found rental listings dropped 26.3 per cent, year on year, to the lowest they’ve been since February 2003.

At the same time, demand for rentals in the capitals is up, with enquiries per listing increasing 31.3 per cent, year on year.

This surging demand is driving up rental prices, with rents up 10 per cent, year on year, in December across the capitals to a median of $480 per week.

“The national rental market remains tight, characterised by strong demand and low supply that is seeing properties lease rapidly,” PropTrack’s director of economic research and report author, Cameron Kusher, said.

“With low volumes of stock available for rent at a time when demand for rentals is strong - and is likely to increase further - we expect the market to remain extremely challenging for renters.”

Sydney and Melbourne renters will also do it tough as people return to the capital cities, and overseas migration lifts.

“In Sydney and Melbourne, the two largest rental markets in the country, rental stock is reducing quickly and demand for rental properties is increasing,” Kusher said.

“Most of the overseas migration that will occur over the coming years will be in these two cities, which will increase demand for rental accommodation.”

Regional areas have experienced a reprieve, with available properties up 9.8 per cent, year on year - their largest annual increase since June 2014 - and demand falling 30 per cent.

These trends would likely continue in 2023, Kusher said.

“Addressing the demand and supply dynamic will take some time, which means that supply is likely to remain tight and the cost of renting will increase in the near term,” he said.

“Rent price increases will be much stronger in capital cities, while regional areas are likely to see rental market pressures continue to ease over 2023.”

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