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National rent prices fell annually for the first time

The September quarter CPI figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the impact that the pandemic has had on national rental prices.

The Australian rental market experienced its first annual fall in the history of ABS reporting, which started in September 1973.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.6 per cent in the September 2020 quarter, according to the latest data from the ABS.

“Annual inflation returned to positive territory, rising 0.7 per cent in the September quarter. This followed negative annual inflation for only the third time in the 72-year history of the CPI of 0.3 per cent in the June quarter,” noted Head of Prices Statistics at the ABS, Andrew Tomadini.

“The quarterly changes for the analytical series of trimmed mean and for the weighted median were -0.4 and 0.3 per cent, respectively,” explained REIA President Adrian Kelly.

“The annual changes in the trimmed mean and weighted mean were 1.2 per cent and 1.3 per cent with the trimmed mean being below 2 per cent since December 2015.

“The Housing Group did not change for the quarter and decreased by 0.2 per cent for the year to September 2020.”

Rents fell for the quarter in all capital cities except Canberra, which had an increase of 0.2 per cent.

“The largest drop was 0.7 per cent in Darwin and the smallest was 0.1 per cent in Brisbane giving a weighted capital city fall of 0.2 per cent for the quarter and a fall of 1.4 per cent for the year,” he said.

“Rents fell in the September quarter in most capital cities due to continued weak rental market conditions, with renters moving to cheaper areas and negotiating lower rents.

“It suggests that the Government should be considering the extension of JobSeeker and rental assistance beyond December,” Mr Kelly concluded.

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