Home Insights Areas with the tightest rent markets, where it’s near impossible to find a home

Areas with the tightest rent markets, where it’s near impossible to find a home

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Low rental vacancies have made it more competitive than ever for tenants looking for homes, making it nearly impossible to find a place to live in some areas.

Over the past year alone, weekly advertising rents have risen 10.5% at the national level, while capital city prices have risen 8%. In the region it got even worse, increasing by 12.5%.

A shortage of rental inventory combined with very high demand is the main cause of these surges.

Parts of Australia have very few rental properties at the moment.Photo: Getty

Since the pandemic, the supply of available rental properties has dwindled for a variety of reasons, most notably investor outflows, and many homes have been sold to owners.

Competition for rental property has intensified over the past year, as a resurgence of migration and rising interest rates have discouraged some Australians from buying. The number of potential renters per listing has grown by a staggering 18.8% over the last 12 months.

To understand which areas renters are having the most trouble with, we looked at the SA3 area, which had the lowest vacancy rate in September.

The Far North of Queensland topped the list, with virtually no vacancies.

Tenants in the Western Australia regions of Manjimup, August-Margaret River-Busselton and Esperance also face significant competition, with vacancy rates below 0.4%.

Interstate migration to Queensland and Washington has played a major role in absorbing rental property numbers, especially through the Covid pandemic.

The Murray River-Swan Hill region of Victoria and the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales also made the list, with vacancy rates of just 0.33% and 0.42% respectively.

In-depth insights from PropTrack’s team of experts:

The SA3 regions with the lowest vacancy rates are all rural, demonstrating the impact of sea and tree trends over the past two years.

The shortage of rental properties is unlikely to improve in the short term.

The government has announced plans to increase the number of housing units, but it will take some time before those buildings start construction.

Combined with sustained demand and housing shortages, competition for rental properties is expected to remain high for years to come.

With vacancy rates likely to remain low, rents are expected to rise further in the near term.

As more international students return home and those who left the metropolitan area during Covid begin to return, vacancy rates in the capital may also drop.

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