JobSeeker recipients spending up to 69% of their income on rent

author-avatar By on December 01, 2020
JobSeeker recipients spending up to 69% of their income on rent

Despite receiving additional JobSeeker payments, new research reveals Australians on Newstart pre-COVID are under extreme rental stress.

While the JobSeeker supplement has slightly improved rental affordability for Newstart households, recipients are still facing moderate to extreme rental stress nationwide, according to the latest release of the Rental Affordability Index (RAI).

Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest variable interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.

Lender
Advertised rate Comparison rate Monthly repayment Rate TypeOffsetRedrawOngoing FeeUpfront FeesLVRLump Sum RepaymentAdditional RepaymentsPre-approval
VariableMore details
LIMITED TIME OFFER

Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 2yr (LVR < 80%)

  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
LIMITED TIME OFFER

Smart Booster Home Loan Discounted Variable - 2yr (LVR < 80%)

  • Fast turnaround times, can meet 30-day settlement
  • For purchase and refinance, min 20% deposit
  • No ongoing or monthly fees, add offset for 0.10%
VariableMore details
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Owner Occupied) (LVR < 60%)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNTNO APPLICATION FEE OR ONGOING FEES

Low Rate Home Loan - Prime (Principal and Interest) (Owner Occupied) (LVR < 60%)

  • No upfront or ongoing fees
  • 100% full offset account
  • Extra repayments + redraw services
VariableMore details
REFINANCE IN MINUTES, NOT WEEKS

Nano Home Loans Variable Owner Occupied, Principal and Interest (Refinance Only)

  • Refinance only. Fast online application
  • No Nano fees. Free 100% offset sub account
  • Mobile app, Visa debit card & instant payments
REFINANCE IN MINUTES, NOT WEEKS

Nano Home Loans Variable Owner Occupied, Principal and Interest (Refinance Only)

  • Refinance only. Fast online application
  • No Nano fees. Free 100% offset sub account
  • Mobile app, Visa debit card & instant payments
VariableMore details
YOU COULD WIN $100k TO PAY DOWN YOUR LOAN*

Owner Occupier Accelerates - Celebrate (LVR < 60%) (Principal and Interest)

  • For a chance to win $100K towards your home loan, apply with Athena before Oct 31 & be approved by Dec 15
  • We lower your rate based off how much you’ve paid down your loan
  • Automatic rate match
YOU COULD WIN $100k TO PAY DOWN YOUR LOAN*

Owner Occupier Accelerates - Celebrate (LVR < 60%) (Principal and Interest)

  • For a chance to win $100K towards your home loan, apply with Athena before Oct 31 & be approved by Dec 15
  • We lower your rate based off how much you’ve paid down your loan
  • Automatic rate match
VariableMore details
AN EASY ONLINE APPLICATION

Yard Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (Special) (LVR < 70%)

  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Unlimited free redraws
  • Optional 100% offset can be added for $120 p.a.^
AN EASY ONLINE APPLICATION

Yard Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (Special) (LVR < 70%)

  • Unlimited additional repayments
  • Unlimited free redraws
  • Optional 100% offset can be added for $120 p.a.^

Rates correct as of October 19, 2021. View disclaimer.

The RAI measures the price of rents relative to household incomes based on new rental agreements and is released annually by National Shelter, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, SGS Economics & Planning and the Brotherhood of St Laurence. 

Despite rents falling in many capital cities during COVID, the index found rental affordability has worsened for about 755,000 new JobSeeker recipients who are spending between 42% to 69% of their incomes on rent in every capital city.

Housing stress in this instance is defined as spending more than 30% of gross income on rent repayments.

"Despite JobSeeker being a welcome boost to many low-income renters, it was not enough to lift them out of rental stress," said Adrian Pisarski, Executive Officer, National Shelter.

"This shows the depth of our rental affordability problem, where even with doubled income support, there is not one place in Australia where a JobSeeker recipient can rent affordably."

Mr Pisarski said the rental affordability crisis could tip many Australians into homelessness without government intervention.

“As the Victorian Government has now done, there is a massive need for government investment in social and affordable housing – and now is the time for it since borrowing costs are so low in Australia. Without investment in this space, we are ignoring our responsibility to help people be decently housed," he said. 

"Now is not the time to pass the buck of responsibility for building social housing between the Commonwealth and States; a truly national effort is required.

"If there is no action, the net result of our housing system failures will be a dramatic increase in homelessness."

The JobSeeker rate is set to be reduced by $100 a fortnight on January 1, to be roughly the equivalent of about $50 a day, which is considered to be below the poverty line. 

The national poverty line is $457 a week ($65 a day) according to the Australian Council of Social Service definition.

In an article published by The Conversation yesterday, 24 out of 45 Australian economists surveyed think JobSeeker should be increased by at least $100 a week. 

Screen Shot 2020-12-01 at 11.13.32 am

Source: The Conversation

Two-thirds of those surveyed want JobSeeker to increase in line with wages.

SGS Economics & Planning partner Ellen Witte said already vulnerable Australians are finding themselves on the brink of poverty, but the pandemic has created an opportunity to push them out of it.

“With the Government now reducing JobSeeker allowances dramatically, and the economy not (re)creating jobs, many households are being trapped in a poverty cycle, seeking affordable rents in areas further away from jobs and services," Ms White said. 

"There is a real opportunity to use the current recession to build a stronger future.

"With low interest rates, high unemployment and an increase of demand for affordable housing, this is the time to invest in social housing. And at the same time, people can be brought back into jobs.

“An investment of about $7.8 billion would create 15,500 to 18,000 jobs over four years and add 30,000 dwellings to our social housing stock and refurbish aged stock."


Photo by Jonathan Rados on Unsplash

Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered which includes retail products from at least the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned institutions and Australia’s larger non-banks:

  • The big four banks are: ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
  • The top 10 customer-owned Institutions are the ten largest mutual banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, ranked by assets under management in November 2020. They are (in descending order): Great Southern Bank, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, Peoples’ Choice Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and P&N Bank.
  • The larger non-bank lenders are those who (in 2020) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.
  • If you click on a product link and you are referred to a Product or Service Provider’s web page, it is highly likely that a commercial relationship exists between that Product or Service Provider and Savings.com.au

Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site.

In the interests of full disclosure, Savings.com.au, Performance Drive and Loans.com.au are part of the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings.com.au manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please click through onto the web site links.

*Comparison rate is based on a loan of $150,000 over a term of 25 years. Please note the comparison rate only applies to the examples given. Different loan amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees and costs savings, such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan.

Latest Articles

author-avatar
Emma Duffy is Assistant Editor at Your Mortgage and  Your Investment Property Mag, which are part of the Savings Media Group. In this role, she manages a team of journalists and expert contributors committed to keeping readers informed about the latest home loan and finance news and trends, as well as providing in-depth property guides. She is also a finance journalist at Savings.com.au which she joined shortly after its launch in early 2019. Emma has a Bachelor in Journalism and has been published in several other publications and been featured on radio.

Collections:

Be Savings smart.
Subscribe for free money newsletters.

By subscribing you agree to the Savings Privacy Policy