Rent.com.au rental market snapshot: March 2020

April 1, 2020English

Rent.com.au rental market snapshot: March 2020

April 1, 2020
98765-1.jpg

Rental property website Rent.com.au has released its report for March 2020, based on property leasing data. The report illustrates the shift in Australian median rental property prices (both metro and regional), rental affordability (the median room price metric) and days on market.

Rent.com.au Rental Snapshot Highlights:

  • Not one metro area saw an increase in rent in March – with falls across most states and territories. The most significant change was seen in Darwin apartments, where rents fell 8.3% to $330/week.
  • Perth is still the cheapest place in Australia to rent an individual room in a house at $120/week, despite a 2.8% increase year-on-year.
  • Considering the average time to lease a property, apartments in Hobart slowed most significantly of all state and territory capitals, taking 15 days, a 15% slowdown month-on-month.
  • Darwin (-8.3%), Perth (-2.9%) and Canberra (-2.6%) were key contributors to the national fall in apartment median rent in March.

Table 1: Median rent (apartments v houses) and price per room

Metro area Apartments % change Houses % change Price per room % change
SYDNEY $520 -1.90% $500 0% $275 0%
MELBOURNE $420 -2.30% $430 0% $180 -4%
BRISBANE $400 0% $435 -1.10% $162 2.50%
PERTH $330 0 $380 0% $133 -2.40%
ADELAIDE $320 0% $380 -1.30% $136 -4.90%
HOBART $410 -1.80% $480 -4% $180 -1.80%
DARWIN $330 -8.30% $450 -2.20% $153 2.20%
CANBERRA $460 -2.60% $565 -1.30% $220 -4.30%
National median $450 -2.20% $445 -1.10% $196 -1.60%
Source: rent.com.au

Price trends in March 2020

Median rents.

Looking at the change in median rents in March, there are some early indicators of the effect the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is likely to have on the country’s rental market.

For properties leased on rent.com.au, not one state or territory saw an increase its median rent – with falls across every metro area, bar one. The most significant change was seen in Darwin apartments, where rents fell 8.3% to $330/week.

Perth was the only metro area where rents did not fall in March, keeping house rents static at $380/week.

Australian Capital Territory’s capital Canberra has overtaken Sydney as the most expensive metro area for houses. Despite a 1.3% fall in house prices, Canberra’s median rent jumped to $565/week in March, passing Sydney’s $500/week price tag.

Canberra’s current asking rents are comparable to the country’s most affordable cities for apartments in March, Perth and Adelaide at $380/week.

Price per room

Considering rent.com.au’s room price metric, Perth remained the cheapest place in Australia to rent an individual room in a house at $120/week, despite an 2.8% increase year-on-year.

The 12-month change in price per room showed Adelaide to have the biggest jump in apartment room prices, up 10.5% to $170/week.

Rent.com.au chief executive officer, Greg Bader said with most reported property data developed for the property owner (i.e. dwelling price), it was important to have an individual measurement that looked at a room price breakdown. “Our price per room metric is a different way to look at the cost of renting,” he said. “It’s a more accurate representation for people wanting to share a home with others.”

Table 2: 12-month change in price per room (Apartments versus Houses)

Metro area Apartments % change from MAR 2019 Houses % change from Mar-19
SYDNEY $325 4.00% $203 3%
MELBOURNE $265 4% $140 0.00%
BRISBANE $220 0 $140 4%
PERTH $200 0% $120 2.80%
ADELAIDE $170 10.50% $130 0%
HOBART $205 -3.50% $166 1.00%
DARWIN $165 6.10% $143 -0.70%
CANBERRA $322 0.70% $183 5.30%
National median $280 3.70% $146 1.10%
Source: rent.com.au
Showing 1 to 9 of 9 entries

Regional rents.

Regional Northern Territory was the most unaffordable across the country for the average renter in March – prices for rentals in the territory’s outlying regions were $425/week, following a 1.1% price jump.

Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory recorded an increase in their respective median rents month-on-month, up 2.6% (SA), 1.3% (QLD) and 1.1% in the NT.

Median rents remained relatively healthy across the rest of the country, with no change for New South Wales or Victoria.

Table 3: Regional rents in March 2020

State/Territory Mar-20 % change from Feb-20
NSW $400 0.00%
VIC $330 0%
QLD $375 0
WA $340 -3%
SA $287 2.60%
TAS $325 -1.50%
NT $425 1.10%
ACT n/a n/a
National median $375 0.00%
Source: rent.com.au

Time on market.

Sydney houses saw the most significant improvement in time on market in March; taking 25 days to shift on average (8% faster, month-on-month).

Apartments in the NSW capital were also off market 5% faster in March – now also 25 days. For houses, the most noticeable shift month-on-month was in Hobart – this property type came off market 15% faster in March, an average of 15 days to move.

Rent.com.au’s latest report recorded a general decrease in the time apartments and houses stayed on market in March. The market moved far quicker for houses overall (quickest in Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin), with properties leasing faster in all states and territories except Perth, which remained unchanged.

Table 4: Days on market in March 2020

Metro area APARTMENT days on market MAR 2020 % change from FEB 2020 % change from MAR 2019 HOUSES days on market MAR 2020 % change from FEB 2020 % change from MAR 2019
SYDNEY 25 days 5% faster 3% slower 25 days 8% faster 9% faster
MELBOURNE 22 days 4% slower 17% slower 23 days 3% faster 1% faster
BRISBANE 19 days 4% slower 9% faster 20 days 7% faster 4% faster
PERTH 25 days 7% faster 13% faster 23 days No change 18% faster
ADELAIDE 19 days 2% faster 6% faster 20 days 1% faster 6% faster
HOBART 15 days 15% slower 1% faster 18 days 4% faster 27% slower
DARWIN 21 days 10% slower 16% slower 21 days 5% faster 9% slower
CANBERRA 36 days 3% slower 5% slower 33 days 4% faster 17% slower
Source: rent.com.au