Rental property: report shows availability of cheaper rental properties is at record low in Australia

A new report has highlighted the dire state of renting in Australia, with the number of affordable rental properties having halved since the start of the pandemic.

The PropTrack Market Insight Report revealed the share of rental properties available for less than $400 a week has dropped from 41.8 per cent at the start of the pandemic to just 19.3 per cent this month.

The report analysed the number of rental properties advertised on and concluded there is a worrying lack of rentals across the country.

The data showed the number of properties available to rent for less than $400 a week has plunged to a historic low, according to report author Cameron Kusher.

“There‘s excess demand for rental accommodation and nowhere near enough supply in the market at the moment,” the PropTrack director of economic research said.

“That’s driven down the number of listings under $400 a week to a record low.”

Unsurprisingly, renting in capital cities proved to be more difficult than in regional areas.

The number of rental homes available for less than $400 a week fell by more than half from pre-pandemic levels across the nation’s capitals.

Only 16.4 per cent of listings were under $400 a week and not a single capital city had more than a quarter of affordable rentals.

The rental crisis is at its worst in the ACT, Hobart and Darwin, where less than 10 per cent of listings are under $400 a week.

In Sydney, the number of affordable rentals has halved in just one year.

Regional areas have also seen rental listings under $400 slashed by half since the beginning of the pandemic.

“It’s pretty clear that we have got some serious issues in the rental market at the moment,” Mr Kusher said.

“Particularly for people on lower incomes, it’s going to be increasingly difficult to find rental accommodation, because the supply of the relatively cheaper stock has reduced quite significantly.

“There’s no real sign that’s going to end anytime soon.”

All signs point to cheaper rental listings becoming more scarce before things start to improve, according to the director of economic research.

Competition for the dwindling number of cheaper rentals is heating up due to increasing migration and low levels of home purchasing from first home buyers.

Unfortunately for renters, none of the issues exacerbating rental supply have a quick fix.

“It’s not great news for anyone looking to rent,” Mr Kusher said.

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