Homelessness could increase with rental market the tightest in 16 years

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on April 13, 2022 Fact Checked
Homelessness could increase with rental market the tightest in 16 years

SQM Research revealed that the national rental vacancy rate fell to 1% in March, the lowest since 2006.

The rental vacancy rate dropped from 1.2% in February.

There are 36,868 available rental properties across Australia, down from 43,844 in February.

Vacancy rates in Sydney and Melbourne are decreasing sharply - particularly in Sydney CBD (down from 4.3% to 3.4%) - as international borders have reopened and workers flock back to the cities.

Brisbane's vacancy rate also fell to 0.7%, with vacancy rates in Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin and Hobart all sitting below 1%.

National asking rents over the past month rose by another 2.2%, representing a 11.8% increase over the past year.

Specifically, house asking rents in capital cities have increased by 14.7%, and unit asking rents rose by 11.2%.

Inner city rents have also jumped significantly, with unit asking rents in Sydney CBD lifting by 5.5% and 7.4% in Melbourne CBD over the past 30 days alone.

Brisbane has recorded the largest spike in rental asking prices over the past year, now up by 15.2%.


Source: SQM Research

Rental crisis only set to worsen 

Louis Christopher, Managing Director of SQM Research, said the rental crisis has deepened with vacancy rates across the country dipping under 1%.

"As a result, market rents have exploded. Some of our capital cities and regions are recording asking rental increases in excess of 15% over the past 12 months," Mr Christopher said.

"And the recent monthly data suggests we are still not at the worst point of the crisis."

Mr Christopher said he believed regional Australia may start to experience some relief as people return to the cities, but that this has not happened yet.

"Many localities and townships are recording zero vacancy rates," he said.

"It is likely homelessness will be increasing in this environment."

Mr Christopher said when he considered the current election stances for both major and minor political parties, there is a lack of specific policy addressing housing affordability.

"Clearly, we are not going to resolve this overnight, but I do hope the various state and territory governments will ramp up their rental assistance packages in order to cushion the rental accommodation emergency we have here and now," Mr Christopher said.

Also read: Should the Federal Government address the rental 'crisis'?


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            Rachel is a Finance Journalist, and joined Savings in 2021. Coming from a background in the FinTech space, her interests include the innovation of lending technology, property, investing, and more. With a passion for educating and informing people about their finances, she hopes to increase the financial literacy of everyday Australians.


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