Half of renters experiencing financial difficulties

Karen Dellow
Karen Dellow

Renters in Australia are facing significant difficulties in securing properties due to a severe lack of stock and rising affordability issues.

According to recent data from realestate.com.au's Residential Audience Pulse survey, 18% of respondents aged 18 and older were actively looking to rent.

Among these prospective renters, one in five reported an urgent need to find a property.

The scarcity of available properties has forced a third of these respondents to move into temporary accommodation while continuing their search.

Specifically, 18% of those in temporary living situations have had to stay with family members, 7% have turned to friends for housing, and 12% have found other temporary solutions.

Have you moved into temporary accommodation while you search for a property to rent?

Source: realestate.com.au Residential Audience Pulse Survey - April 2024

National vacancy rates are currently alarmingly low, at just 1.21%, which is a 13% decrease compared to the same period last year.

This dwindling vacancy rate has exacerbated the competition, making it extremely challenging for renters to secure housing.

High rent and low stock are causing a rental crisis in Australia. Image: Getty.

Concurrently, the median weekly rent across the country has surged by 9% from the previous year, reaching an unaffordable $600 per week.

The challenging market conditions have compelled 72% of renters to make compromises when searching for rental properties.

Many are now considering more affordable locations or sacrificing features they once deemed essential.

Recent experience renting

Source: realestate.com.au Residential Audience Pulse Survey - April 2024

Financial strain is a significant concern, with half of the survey respondents indicating they are experiencing financial difficulties.

To afford the high rents, a third of renters have resorted to downsizing or moving into shared housing arrangements.

Many renters are considering house sharing in order to find somewhere to live. Image: Getty.

This trend is corroborated by data from flatmates.com.au, which recorded a 25% increase in membership over the past year, reflecting a shift towards shared living as a coping strategy.

The struggle to find affordable and suitable accommodation has placed many renters in precarious situations.

The shortage of affordable housing options not only affects those currently searching for homes but also heightens the risk of homelessness, especially for individuals without the support of friends or family.

The current rental market offers limited alternatives, underscoring the severe impact of the housing shortage on renters, who are left with few viable options amidst rising costs and shrinking availability.

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