Are there any affordable rentals left in Australia's cities?

Karen Dellow
Karen Dellow

Finding an affordable rental has become much more challenging as the number of properties listed for $400 or less per week has decreased by nearly half compared to last year.

The national median weekly rent has increased by 15%, from $480 to $550, resulting in fewer new properties being listed below $400.

In October, only 11% of total listings were within the affordable bracket nationally, although the figure is not reflective of the affordability crisis being experienced in the cities.

It is getting harder to find affordable rentals in the capital cities. Source:

Canberra is the most unaffordable city in Australia, with a weekly median rent of $600 and only 2% of properties listed for $400 or under.

And it matters not whether Canberrans are looking for an affordable house or a unit; there are very few of either.

With vacancy rates at an all-time low, it is unsurprising that high demand has pushed up median weekly rents, and most of the capital cities are in the same boat as Canberra.

Sydney only has 4% of affordable listed rentals, down 62% on the same time last year.

All other cities, except for Hobart, have critically low levels of affordable housing, significantly fewer than last year.

Hobart's affordable listings are up by 74% on last year and make up 13% of current stock. However, this is still low and doesn't provide many options for renters on a budget.

It is a better story for anyone living in regional areas as renters have more options.

The median weekly rent in regional Australia is currently $490, up 9% on last year, but much more affordable than in the combined cities, where the median weekly rent is $570.

Regional South Australia has the most affordable rentals in the country. Source: Getty Images.

In regional South Australia, 60% of properties are $400 per week or less.

More than 30% of listings in Regional Tasmania and Victoria are affordable, and, as with Hobart, Regional Tasmania has seen a 22% increase in the past year.

The only way to increase the affordable housing stock in Australia is to build enough new rental properties to meet the demand or reduce demand.

But, with the population growing faster than expected and more people living independently, demand will continue growing for the foreseeable future.


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