Thanks to the pandemic and the general chaos it’s caused, Aussie unit rentals have fallen by a massive 3.2% from to the beginning of the year – the biggest drop in 15 years.
That’s according to new data released by Domain, which said Sydney and Hobart saw the biggest price drops for weekly rent.
The news is enough to turn the tables just a little bit and stop landlords living rent free in our heads for the time being.
“Rental prices fell across most major capitals, illustrating no city was immune from the impact of coronavirus, with Sydney and Hobart units recording the steepest quarterly fall on record,” Domain Senior Research Analyst Dr Nicola Powell said.
“This weakness has been led by significant rent reductions in Sydney and Melbourne inner-city areas due to a surge in advertised rentals from March to June.”
Here’s what that means for every city, and how your rent stacks up against the new average.
While the average house rental price stayed steady at $530 per week, units saw the single biggest drop in over a decade, falling 3.8% to $500.
In the CBD and Eastern Suburbs, rent is falling by as much as $50 per week in some cases.
“Tenants now have the novelty of choice,” Powell said.
“Tenants are using this as bargaining power to negotiate a deal while landlords compete to lure them.”
House rental prices fell on average 2.3% to $430, while unit rent plummeted 3.5% to $415 per week.
Inner Melbourne in particular saw rent fall by up to $40 a week along with a huge increase in property availability.
“This has created a discounting war, forcing one-third of Inner Melbourne landlords to slash asking rents in an attempt to secure a tenant,” Powell added.
On average, houses fell 2.4% to $400 per week, while units dropped 1.3% to $380.
Brisbane has been less affected than other cities, but job losses and border closures have still had an effect on the property market.
“Brisbane’s CBD is particularly exposed to the reduced demand, with advertised rentals jumping from March to June and more landlords cutting asking rents,” Powell said.
For those in Adelaide, not much has changed. Rent has stayed steady across the board.
That being said, the city is still the second-most affordable in the country when it comes to units, so it’s not all bad news.
Powell’s take: “Adelaide offers greater value for money compared to other capital cities.”
Houses fell 1.3% to $370 per week, while on average, unit rent stayed the same at $320.
This marks a drop from the three-and-a-half-year high a few months ago, with the biggest discounts going in the inner city.
“The market has improved considerably [for landlords] from the post-mining boom lull,” Powell noted.
Rent in Hobart fell by a massive 4.3% to $560 for houses, and an even bigger 8.4% drop to $380 per week for units.
That’s enough to make Hobart one of the country’s most affordable cities.
Nevertheless, Powell said Hobart “remains the tightest rental market of all the cities” despite these falling prices.
The average house rental price fell marginally by 0.9% to $575 per week, while unit prices fell even more by 2.1% to $470.
Despite the falling prices, the rental market is still competitive and vacancies are gradually drying up.
In fact although the city saw a quarterly drop in rent, over the past five years it saw “the second strongest growth across the capitals during this time,” according to Powell.
Like Adelaide, things remained steady in Darwin.
Both house and units are still over 30% (that’s not a typo) more affordable than the market’s peak back in 2013, and experts say it’s still a good time to find a bargain.
“Darwin was the only capital city house rents held stable over the quarter and year,” Powell said.Image: Getty Images / Ryan Pierse