New data released on Tuesday revealed just how much rents have risen in each Australian capital city and ooft, my condolences to Sydneysiders who’ve unsurprisingly been ripped off the hardest.
The latest SQM Research Weekly Rents Index data showed Sydney rents have risen 23.7 per cent in the past 12 months and 4.2 per cent in the past week alone. The median combined cost for houses and units is now $666.41 a week, which is $28 more than last week. I’m sorry, but this is fucking dire.
If you live in Sydney’s CBD, the median unit price rose 30.1 per cent from 12 months ago to $847.52 a week. And if you live in an actual house the median rent went up 44.4 per cent in the same period. The median Sydney house rent is … *deep breath* … $1,273.67 a week. FFFFFFFFUUUUCCCCKKKK.
But while it’s easy to get bogged down in rental market doomism these days, don’t check out. The NSW Government, which is six months out from an election, needs to hear your outrage.
NSW is the absolute worst place to rent, it’s true, but it’s getting rapidly worse in other cities too. Despite house prices dropping in most capital cities this year, rents are rising everywhere.
Brisbane rents rose 22.2 per cent in the past 12 months to about $557.77 a week, followed by Melbourne at 19.3 per cent, Adelaide at 18.6 per cent and Perth at 15.6 per cent.
So why is this happening?
One reason is when house prices inflated so much over lockdowns, most people were priced out of the market and therefore trapped into renting longer term. The rental vacancy rate in Australia reached a record low in August of 0.9 per cent, so each house advertised is likely fielding dozens of applications.
More renters means more demand for rentals and therefore it’s become a landlords’ market.
But don’t just blame your landlord for hiking your rent, Australia tenancy laws have been shamefully weak for generations and despite decades of pleas to state and federal governments past and present, landlords can still basically charge whatever they want.
Compare this to a city like Berlin where it’s illegal for a landlord to raise a tenant’s rent by more than 15 per cent per three years.
This is why the Greens urged the Federal Government to step in last month and freeze rents for two years, raise the minimum rental standards and place a cap on how much rents can be raised per annum in future.
The government is also being called upon to raise welfare payments in response to the unaffordable cost of living, which it has infamously refused to do time and time again.
The next NSW state election is March 25. The next Victorian state election is November 26. We all need to be talking about the rental crisis in the lead-up.