Where city renters face the toughest competition

Karen Dellow
Karen Dellow

The ongoing rental crisis across the nation persists, presenting challenges for renters in their quest to find a home.

Certain regions are struggling more than others, with their limited availability of rental properties, heightened demand, and soaring prices.

In many urban areas, demand surpasses supply, leading to a scarcity of available rentals.

SYDNEY AUSTRALIA - NCA NewsWire Photos MARCH 22, 2023: Dozens of Sydneysiders are pictured lined up outside an open-for-inspection rental apartment in Surry Hills. The rental crisis remains one of the key issues of the 2023 NSW state election. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicholas Eagar
High demand for rentals is causing lines around the block for capital city properties. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicholas Eagar

This situation is exacerbated in regions where demand is particularly high and the number of available properties is disproportionately low. Moreover, these areas witness sharper increases in rental prices compared to others.

Recent data from realestate.com.au highlights Perth's North East as the toughest rental market in Australia's capital cities.

Home to suburbs such as Bayswater, Glen Forest, and Stoneville, Perth's North East had an average of 60 enquiries per listing in March 2024, the highest number in the country.

The nations toughest metro rental markets - March 2024

Rank Regions  Average enquiries per listing Vacancy rate YoY % growth in median rent
1 Perth - North East                                        60 0.69% 21.2%
2 Adelaide - North                                        47 0.69% 15.6%
3 Perth - South East                                        58 0.74% 21.2%
4 Melbourne - Outer East                                        43 0.74% 12.0%
5 Perth - North West                                        56 0.77% 18.2%
6 Adelaide - West                                        41 0.80% 14.0%
7 Perth - South West                                        42 0.89% 17.0%
8 Melbourne - North East                                        42 0.98% 15.6%
9 Melbourne - South East                                        47 1.01% 14.6%
10 Logan - Beaudesert                                        43 1.08% 10.0%
Source: realestate.com.au

Furthermore, the vacancy rate in this region sits at just 0.69%, indicating a severe scarcity of rental properties.

Over the past year, rental prices Perth's North East surged by a staggering 21%, reflecting the intense demand-supply imbalance.

Perth's South East, North West, and South West also grapple with similar challenges, featuring high enquiry rates and minimal vacancy rates, contributing to soaring rental prices.

Adelaide's North is another victim of the rental crisis, with an average of 47 enquiries per listing in March, further exacerbating the housing shortage.

In contrast, Canberra experienced significantly lower demand, with an average of only 12 enquiries per listing in March.

The nations least competitive metro rental markets - March 2024

Rank Regions  Average enquiries per listing Vacancy rate YoY % growth in median rent
1 Australian Capital Territory                                       12 1.7% 0.0%
2 Hobart                                       17 1.3% -1.0%
3 Sydney - Northern Beaches                                       17 1.5% 12.5%
4 Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby                                       18 1.9% 8.3%
5 Sydney - Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury                                       18 1.8% 9.7%
6 Sydney - Ryde                                       19 1.4% 7.7%
7 Sydney - Eastern Suburbs                                       19 1.3% 11.8%
8 Sydney - City and Inner South                                       19 1.3% 9.4%
9 Sydney - Sutherland                                       21 0.9% 13.6%
10 Brisbane - West                                       22 1.2% 8.9%
Source: realestate.com.au

Similarly, regions like Hobart and certain affluent areas of Sydney, such as the Northern Beaches and Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury, had lower enquiry rates, higher vacancy rates, and consequently, lower rental price growth.

Notably, the regions facing the most acute rental crisis tend to be situated further from city centres.

This shows that the rental crisis is not just affecting the inner city markets, but has branched out into the outer capital city regions.

One red roof amongst rows of houses in rural urban sprawl.
More affordable housing needs to be built to increase rental stock in our cities. Picture: Getty

While current market conditions may seem advantageous for property owners, the lack of incentives to attract new investors contributes to the shortfall of available rental properties.

Addressing the rental crisis requires urgent measures to increase the availability of affordable housing in urban areas. By implementing policies that incentivise investment in rental properties and promote the construction of affordable housing, the strain on renters can be reduced and stabilise skyrocketing rents.

Check out more PropTrack insights

Why it's unlikely that 1.2 million new homes will be built in the next five years

Investors, first-home buyers eager to secure properties as prices continue to rise

PropTrack Home Price Index – March 2024

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