Domain's Rental Report shows renting in capital cities is more expensive than ever, with Brisbane house rentals rising 12.9% to end the year in 2021.

Canberra was close behind after a 12.5% increase in 2021, with all capitals increasing over the year for house rentals. 

Domain chief of research and economics Nicola Powell said December is always a strong quarter for rentals.

"The tail end of the year to the start of the new year is usually a busy period in the rental market so when you look at a landlord who now has a vacant property on the market, they will align the rent price to the current market rate," she said.

"This has seen rent prices increase across units, and particularly houses, which recorded the strongest rental upswing since 2007."

Median asking rental price - Houses

Capital City Dec-21 Sep-21 Dec-20 Quarterly change Annual change
Sydney $600 $580 $550 3.4% 9.1%
Melbourne $445 $430 $440 3.5% 1.1%
Brisbane $480 $460 $425 4.3% 12.9%
Adelaide $450 $440 $410 2.3% 9.8%
Perth $460 $450 $415 2.2% 10.8%
Canberra $675 $645 $600 4.7% 12.5%
Darwin $600 $620 $550 -3.2% 9.1%
Hobart $500 $495 $460 1.0% 8.7%
Combined Capitals $499 $483 $465 3.4% 7.4%

Source: Domain

According to the report, house rents in Brisbane have achieved a record-breaking six consecutive quarters of rising asking rents, providing landlords with the longest period of continuous rental growth in the city's history.

House rents have risen more than double the rate of units over the past year. 

Canberra now sits as Australia's most expensive rental city for houses, with growth in house rents accelerating over the quarter by 4.7% to $675 a week. 

Median asking rental price - Units

Capital City Dec-21 Sep-21 Dec-20 Quarterly change Annual change
Sydney $490 $485 $470 1.0% 4.3%
Melbourne $375 $370 $385 1.4% -2.6%
Brisbane $420 $410 $400 2.4% 5.0%
Adelaide $360 $350 $340 2.9% 5.9%
Perth $390 $380 $350 2.6% 11.4%
Canberra $530 $520 $495 1.9% 7.1%
Darwin $480 $470 $420 2.1% 14.3%
Hobart $428 $400 $400 6.9% 6.9%
Combined Capitals $436 $430 $425 1.4% 2.5%

Source: Domain

Melbourne's median rent for units has decreased over the past year but has edged into 'recovery mode' with asking rents once again on the rise.

This is the first time both house and unit rents have increased over a quarter since pre-pandemic March 2020. 

Rent assistance and the 'rental crisis'

New data released by the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services reveals that of the low-income households receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) at end June 2021, nearly three quarters (72.5%) would have been plunged into rental stress without CRA.

Mission Australia Executive, Ben Carblis said rental stress is only escalating.

"It’s unacceptable that people and families across the country are facing enormous pressures with escalating rental stress and very limited availability of affordable places to rent, which is pushing them to the verge of homelessness," he said.

"Finding an affordable home to rent has never been so difficult."

Image by Kari Shea via Unsplash

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