Australian renters are paying up to $600 per week for a single room in the country’s most expensive suburbs, research reveals, as the rental crisis pushes up prices and sees share house popularity soar.
Ten of Australia’s most expensive suburbs for renters are in Sydney, according to survey data collected by Flatmates.com.au, with nine suburbs costing $500 per week or more.
Melbourne’s St Kilda also made the list, tying as Australia’s 10th most expensive suburb alongside Sydney’s Rose Bay at $490 per week.
The national median for a room is currently $290 per week.
Speaking to PEDESTRIAN.TV, Flatmates.com.au Community Manager Claudia Conley said it was a uniquely challenging market for renters.
“Following the pandemic, demand for share houses began to pick up. Fast forward to today, a limited supply of rooms for rent is being met with strong demand for share houses,” she said.
“With national median room rents up 16 per cent year-on-year and a nationwide ratio of six people looking for every room available, sharers across the country are facing challenging conditions.”
More than 10,000 people responded to the survey, representing a wide range of age brackets and locations across Australia.
The survey also revealed that despite more homeowners renting out their spare rooms, finding any room to live in was getting harder, with more than a third of people saying they had struggled to find accommodation in the past year. Almost a quarter of respondents said they had moved into a home that “wasn’t quite right” in order to avoid homelessness.
On the other hand, for landlords, filling a room has never been easier, with 32 per cent of people filling a room within two weeks, a steep rise from before the pandemic. Conley said many people were either moving into share houses or renting out their spare rooms as they felt the cost of living pinch.
“Australians are looking for new ways to navigate the rental crisis and tackle the rising cost of living,” she said.
“October 2023 was our fourth busiest month this year […] we don’t normally see this volume of activity until our peak season begins in January.”
However, she said there was no end in sight for the current rental crisis, adding that they were “expecting demand for share accommodation to remain busy” as we move into summer.
“Share accommodation is a long-term and legitimate way to live for many Australians, and until more homes are built to keep up with the demand for rentals, we expect share accommodation to remain popular,” she said.
Until cost of living pressures ease and homes become more affordable to everyone, the survey indicated demand for share houses could be here to stay across all age brackets.
Most expensive weekly rents
1. Warriewood – $600 per week
2. Darling Point – $590 per week
3. Sydney CBD – $575 per week
4. Bondi Beach – $560 per week
5. Bondi Junction – $538 per week
6 [tied]. Cremorne/Manly/Bronte/Erskineville – $500 per week
10 [tied]. Rose Bay/St Kilda – $490 per week