New Study Finds Just Three Rural VIC Postcodes Are Affordable To Renters, Let Alone Melbourne

There’s more bad news for Aussie renters feeling the squeeze as data shows that the rental market has never been in worse shape, with only three regional Victorian postcodes affordable to median earners.

If you were looking to escape the rental crunch by leaving the city, think again. The data, released in a report by SGS on Tuesday, revealed that the rural sector is in just as bad a shape as the cities with only a handful of postcodes affordable to median earners across Australia.

Nationwide, rental affordability is now at a record low. Coupled with unprecedented low supply, as reported last week, the Australian rental market has never been more dire.

An affordable level of rent is considered to be 15 per cent or less of a household’s income. However, the national figure now sits at 31 per cent, having skyrocketed up 5 per cent over the past year.

SGS Economics & Planning Principal Ellen Witte said the rental market was descending from crisis into catastrophe.

“Unaffordability has spread from Melbourne to well into the regions,” she wrote in the report.

“Households have to live further away from where the jobs are to access affordable rents, and businesses are struggling to find workers. Nursing homes are struggling to find nurses, schools to find teachers and the building sector to find builders to build houses.

“Regional Victoria’s rental affordability will continue to deteriorate from crisis to catastrophe without urgent intervention from state and federal governments.”

For students, pensioners, hospitality workers and single parents, most of the country is now considered “severely or extremely unaffordable”.

Everybody’s Home spokesperson Maiy Azize said in a statement that the data is a grim reminder of the urgent need to end Australia’s social housing shortfall.

“Across Australia, renting a home has become completely unaffordable for working households and totally out of reach for those on income support,” she said.

“The growing rates of housing stress across the country are getting to be out of control. Renters are stretching their budgets to the limit, often at the expense of basic necessities.”

Azize said one million new homes needed to be built across Australia over the next 20 years. She was also calling for the federal government to implement urgent rent controls.

“The federal government must seize the opportunity to create generational, systemic change,” she said. 

“The growing number of Australians who will be lifelong renters deserve a housing system that works for them not against them.”