Home Insights Can you still find a rental for less than $400 a week in our big cities?

Can you still find a rental for less than $400 a week in our big cities?

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Is it still possible to find affordable rental properties in Australia’s major cities? The answer is yes, but far less than before the pandemic.

Many tenants across the country are struggling to find homes they can afford, with little supply available and high demand pushing weekly rents to all-time highs.

Less than 20% of all rental listings were homes priced under $400 a week in September, according to new data from . realestate.com.au.

That’s half of what was available early in the Covid pandemic.

Share of all rental properties under $400 per week in September 2022

Source: realestate.com.au
region housing unit all residences
sydney 5.9% 12.9% 10.6%
melbourne 16.7% 30.4% 24.4%
brisbane 10.1% 21.1% 14.6%
Adelaide 15.4% 44.8% 24.9%
Perth 8.1% 29.3% 16.7%
Hobart 6.0% 18.5% 9.8%
Darwin 2.1% 15.4% 9.6%
Canberra 1.0% 3.3% 2.6%
capital 10.7% 21.1% 16.4%
local area 20.8% 42.7% 28.2%
Whole country 13.9% 24.8% 19.3%

The capital has the fewest property offerings, with Canberra taking the top spot as the most affordable rental market. Only 2.6% of available rentals are less than $400 per week in the nation’s capital.

The supply of affordable rental inventory in Hobart, Darwin and Sydney is also at an all-time low, with less than 10% of rental properties in these cities falling into the affordable price range.

Adelaide and Melbourne had the highest number of rentals under $400 per week, with 24.9% and 24.4% respectively.

These figures are in stark contrast to early in the pandemic, when 61% of available properties were affordable in Adelaide and 39% in Melbourne.

Adelaide’s affordable rental property is at an all-time low.Photo: Getty


As we know, not all properties are created equal and homes cost much more to rent than units.

For example, in Adelaide, 44.8% of units were under $400, but only 15.4% of homes were in that price range.

The best areas to look for affordable property in the city are the suburbs.

Top 20 Capitals SA4 with Highest Share of Home Rentals Under $400 per Week Sept 2022

Source: realestate.com.au
rank SA4 region housing
1 Melbourne – West 34.6%
2 Adelaide – North 27.8%
3 Melbourne – Northwest 18.8%
Four Ipswich 18.7%
Five Melbourne – North East 17.1%
6 Logan – Beaudesert 14.8%
7 Moreton Bay – North 13.0%
8 sydney – blacktown 12.8%
9 Perth – South East 12.8%
Ten mandurah 12.2%
11 Sydney – Outer South West 12.0%
12 Perth – Northeast 11.4%
13 Melbourne – South East 10.4%
14 Adelaide – South 9.9%
15 Adelaide – west 9.3%
16 Melbourne – Outer East 9.0%
17 mornington peninsula 8.8%
18 Brisbane Inner City 8.5%
19 Sydney – Parramatta 8.4%
20 Sydney – South West 8.1%

In West Melbourne, 34.6% of property listings were under $400. In North Adelaide, 27.8% of rental housing was in that range.

If being close to the action is your top priority, the unit may be your only affordable option.

Top 20 Capitals SA4 with Highest Share of Unit Rentals Under $400 per Week, September 2022

Source: realestate.com.au
rank SA4 region unit
1 Adelaide – North 73.4%
2 mandurah 73.3%
3 Logan – Beaudesert 68.6%
Four Adelaide – west 55.1%
Five Melbourne – West 55.0%
6 Adelaide – South 52.7%
7 Ipswich 50.6%
8 Sydney – South West 50.4%
9 Sydney – Outer South West 50.4%
Ten Moreton Bay – North 45.4%
11 Perth – Northeast 44.2%
12 mornington peninsula 44.0%
13 Melbourne – Northeast 43.6%
14 Sydney – Outer West and Blue Mountains 40.9%
15 Melbourne – Northwest 38.2%
16 Melbourne – South East 36.0%
17 Perth – South East 33.4%
18 Melbourne – Inner South 29.0%
19 Adelaide – Central and Hills 28.8%
20 Perth – Southwest 28.0%

Once again, Adelaide-North tops the list, with 73.4% of rental properties priced below $400 per week, offering less competition from other potential tenants and more choice.

Adelaide is followed by Perth’s Mandurah, with 73.3% of units under $400.

The area of ​​Sydney closest to the CBD is Sydney – South East, with affordable units in suburban areas such as Cabramatta, Canley Vale and Liverpool.

sydney harbor bridge

Finding affordable rentals in Sydney is a tough prospect. Photo: Getty.


Before the pandemic, many informal and hospitality workers fled to rural areas such as QLD’s Gold and Sunshine Coasts, giving city renters more options.

International students and migrant workers were also barred from entering the country, leaving hundreds of rental properties vacant.

Now that borders have reopened and post-pandemic Australia is back to normal, the tables have turned, with tenants fighting for fewer properties and losing out to tenants with higher incomes.

Rental prices will continue to rise until more rental inventory becomes available, although this is unlikely to happen anytime in the foreseeable future.

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