Improved rental affordability doesn't guarantee finding a home

The quest for an affordable home remains challenging due to limited availability

Improved rental affordability doesn't guarantee finding a home


By Mina Martin

A glimmer of hope is offered to renters burdened by years of escalating prices, with certain suburbs experiencing a drop in weekly rental rates, according to Karen Dellow (pictured above), senior data analyst at PropTrack.

Rental price drops in capital cities

In capital cities, a modest fraction—about 5% of suburbs—recorded a decrease in house rental prices over the last 12 months.

In Canberra, Farrer witnessed a significant 17.7% drop in its median weekly rental price over the past 12 months, equating to a substantial decrease of $140 a week.

Alongside Farrer, three other suburbs in the nation’s capital – Red Hill, Deakin, and Lyons – ranked among the top 10 for rental price decreases, with 44% of the city’s suburbs experiencing lower weekly rents in the last year.

However, a common challenge among these suburbs is the scarcity of available rentals; for instance, Farrer and Red Hill have only two and three houses listed for rent on, respectively.

Booker Bay experienced a 12.28% reduction in weekly rents, translating to a $70 weekly decrease; however, it currently has no units available for rent.

Regional areas also see rent reductions

The trend extended beyond urban centers, with one in 10 regional suburbs experiencing a drop in median weekly rental prices, PropTrack data showed.

Shellharbour, in New South Wales’ Illawarra region, leads with a 13.27% decrease. Yet, similar to the cities, these areas grapple with a scarcity of available rentals, limiting the impact of price reductions on overall accessibility. At present, only four houses are available for rent in Shellharbour.

Four of the top ten suburbs experiencing the largest decreases in unit rents are located in the Illawarra region of NSW, each facing a limited inventory of available properties.

Warilla, adjacent to Shellharbour, saw a significant drop in weekly rents by 24.21%, translating to savings of $115 per week. Currently, Warilla has just one unit available for rent throughout the suburb.

“This could be driving renters to different regions or cities where the number of available properties are higher, or driving renters into share accommodation,” Dellow said.

Get the hottest and freshest mortgage news delivered right into your inbox. Subscribe now to our FREE daily newsletter.

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!