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State with worst housing stress revealed

Prices for buying or renting a house have shot up in Queensland since the pandemic. Picture: NewsWire / Max Mason-Hubers

Queensland has been revealed to have the worst housing stress compared to any other state in the country, as economist warn renters and first home buyers are facing the “sharp end” of a hostile housing market.

A new report from the Queensland Council of Social Services (QCOSS) exposed the Sunshine State for having house prices and tenancy rates which outpaced the rest of Australia since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The research was led by University of New South Wales (UNSW) professor Hal Pawson.

The report, titled Breaking Ground, found prices in Brisbane have increased by 65 per cent, almost doubling the Australian capital city average (34 per cent).


New tenancy rents sharply rose by 45 per cent over the same time period.

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Brisbane and Queensland residents are under the most housing stress, QCOSS’ report found. Picture: NewsWire / John Gass

Since 2020, new rentals at an affordable price for those in low-income households across the state has fallen from 23 per cent to 10 per cent.

In March this year alone, less than one per cent of all available rentals could be afforded on a single person earning minimum wage.

The report found that residents relying on homelessness services had increased by 34 per cent within the last five years.

It also highlighted that more families were seeking these services, with some forced to living in tents, cars or motel rooms due to a shortage of affordable rental homes.

Professor Pawson said the current housing state are hitting renters and first home buyers hard.

Report Lead Professor Hal Pawson. Picture: UNSW
Report Lead Professor Hal Pawson. Picture: UNSW

“With the market in its current state, it is renters and recent first home buyers who are going to be at the sharp end,” Prof Pawson said.

“Unfortunately for some, the conditions can mean being pushed into homelessness.”

In a response, QCOSS has reignited calls for both state and federal governments to do more to fix the issue.

The organisation is asking both political parties to commit to long-term, evidence-based plans – including increasing the supply of affordable and social housing across Queensland.

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The report shows a severe lack in affordable rentals. Picture: NewsWire / John Gass

They also want a cap on rent increases and for legal loopholes to be closed in order to prevent any unfair evictions.

Figures from Domain highlights that advertised rental prices across the capital cities rose by 10.5 per cent over the last year.

As of March 2024, the average price to rent a house in Australian capital cities is $630 per week.

The average price to rent a unit in the capital cities is $620 per week. In regionals parts of Australia, the average rental price for a house is $540 per week.