The rental crisis in Brisbane is leaving many vulnerable and low-income earners at risk of homelessness according to an expert.
CoreLogic Head of Research Eliza Owen said rents had surged more than 20 per cent since March 2020, putting many of the state’s most vulnerable residents at extreme risk.
“Amid the rising housing costs, low income renters are particularly vulnerable to experiencing homelessness,” Ms Owen said.
“According to AHURI (Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute) research, a tight housing market is one of many factors that increase the risk of losing secure housing.”
Ms Owen said demand for housing nationally had surged amid record-low interest rates, fewer people per household and delays in new housing completions.
“For Brisbane and Greater Queensland, a record year of internal migration to the state in 2021 has exacerbated competition for housing,” she said.
“The portion of income to service a new lease in Brisbane has reached its highest level since 2009.
“This measure of housing affordability had generally been improving since a construction boom across Brisbane in the early 2010s.
“However, this dynamic has been changing since the September quarter of 2020, with the portion of income to service new rents reaching its highest level since 2009.”
Highlighting just how tight the rental market is, the rental vacancy rate across Greater Brisbane hit one per cent in August, less than half the five-year average of 2.8 per cent.
Weekly rents across Greater Brisbane have also increased a record 13.3 per cent, to $530, from about $468 in August last year.
In July, CoreLogic estimates the rental vacancy rate hit a record low of 0.9 per cent.
Ms Owen said there were 8,208 advertised rentals across the Brisbane market in the 28 days to September 4.
“This is 48.2 per cent lower than the previous five-year average for this time of year,” she said.
“The limited available rental stock has created stiff competition for rental accommodation, which has contributed to higher rental costs.”
According to Ms Owen, one of the factors that have contributed to the rental shortage has been investors selling up and capitalising on higher prices.
“It is worth noting that if investors sell to first-home buyers, this can actually alleviate some of the demand pressure in the rental market, as people transition from renting to home ownership,” she said.
“However, if these investment properties are sold to households who are not first-home buyers, for example, people purchasing a second home interstate, then there is less chance of relief in rental demand.”