The suburbs defying the rental listings slump

Megan Lieu
Megan Lieu

Rental stock is at a historic low following investor departures and construction challenges, and while it remains difficult to secure a rental in most suburbs, conditions are improving in some.

The latest PropTrack Rental Report shows that rental listings were at an all-time low in December 2023.

Relative to a year earlier, new listings were 4.6% lower, while total listings were 4.7% lower.

The tightness in supply is even more apparent when we compare the number of listings to December's 10-year average, with 21% fewer new listings and 30% fewer total listings.

Although these conditions have made it difficult for renters, circumstances vary across different locations.

There are still a number of areas where rental stock has risen significantly in the previous 12 months.  

To get a sense of where those areas area, we looked at the suburbs with the largest year-on-year percentage growth in new rental listings.

Suburbs with the largest increase in new rental listings

Suburb State YoY % change in new rental listings
Haymarket NSW 118.2%
Morayfield QLD 79.2%
Newstead QLD 76.2%
Zetland NSW 71.6%
Spring Hill QLD 68.8%
Redbank Plains QLD 50.8%
Palm Beach QLD 50.0%
Hurstville NSW 48.4%
St Leonards NSW 48.0%
Pakenham VIC 47.2%
Source: PropTrack. Only suburbs with 30 rental listings in Dec'22 and Dec'23 are included.

Haymarket in Sydney's CBD led all suburbs nationally with a 118% increase in new rental stock from December 2022 to December 2023.

Morayfield in the Moreton Bay region of Queensland and Newstead in inner north Brisbane saw an enormous surge in the supply of rentals. There were 79% and 76% more new rental listings, respectively, in those suburbs compared to the year prior.

Many suburbs close to Sydney's CBDs saw an increase in new rental listings. Picture: Getty

Renters in Zetland, situated in the inner south of Sydney and Spring Hill, located in inner north Brisbane, also experienced some reprieve with a respective 71% and 61% increase in new properties for rent.

Many of these suburbs, particularly those in inner-city areas, have had a large influx of newly constructed homes, and following the resurgence of CBDs, they are also likely to be attracting investors.

More insights from the expert team at PropTrack

However, the overall rental supply in the country is declining for a variety of reasons.

The pace of new home construction is insufficient for the current level of demand. High material, labour, and financing costs are contributing to decade-low rates of dwelling approvals and commencements.

While investor lending and buying are trending upwards, investors are still selling at higher rates than in pre-pandemic times, putting pressure on stock availability.

As these trends persist, the likelihood of seeing significant growth in rental supply in the near term is low, and we anticipate that renters will continue to face challenging conditions.

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