New and total listings drop across Australia as national rental supply nears all-time low

The Australian rental market has become increasingly competitive as available rental supply continues to sharply decline over 2021.

Nationally, new rental listings saw a 3.9 per cent monthly decline in August 2021, reaching the lowest level since December 2019, according to new REA Group data.

Both regional areas and capital cities have felt the crunch, with total rental supply tightening to a new historic low, following a 3.1 per cent monthly fall and an 11.9 per cent year-on-year (YoY) fall.

The PropTrack Rental Listing Report for September indicated rental listings were historically low in many regional areas, including New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania through August.

Regional Victoria and Tasmania were the only areas to record a YoY increase in total listings.

Sydney rebounded with a 6.7 monthly increase, likely due to one-on-one inspections still being available.

Meanwhile, Melbourne and Canberra saw listings fall by 16.9 per cent and 29.9 per cent respectively, according to REA Group Director of Economic Research Cameron Kusher.

“These were the largest monthly declines in rental listings, which is not surprising given their strict lockdowns banning one-on-one inspections,” Mr Kusher told Elite Agent.

“Generally, total rental listings have fallen across most parts of Australia, particularly in regional areas. It seems that many people that have made the move from cities to regional areas haven’t yet bought causing rental markets to tighten.

“The widespread declines are likely a result of just how high supply of rental stock was a year ago in these areas. The supply of stock for rent is still very high, however, it is substantially less than it was 12 months ago.”

With new and total rental listings trending lower across Australia, Mr Kusher has revealed what he expects conditions to look like over coming months.

“While there are supply overhangs in inner-city markets dominated by apartments, supply has generally tightened beyond those areas as people branch out beyond the city with a desire for more space,” Mr Kusher noted.

“Over the coming months, we expect rental market conditions to remain tight and price pressures to increase. In contrast to the buy/sell market, it’s unlikely there will be a swift rebound in new rental listings once lockdowns end.”

New South Wales

Despite a 6.7 per cent monthly rise in new rental listings in Sydney, regional New South Wales saw a 4.4 per cent monthly fall.

Prospective renters looking in Sydney City and Inner South suburbs had more choice, as the area had the highest share of new properties available in August at 17.8 per cent. Narrabeen saw the strongest rise YoY at a staggering 96 per cent.

However, Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury both saw a 2.2 per cent monthly fall. The most significant fall YoY was the Inner West suburb of Homebush, declining 65 per cent.

Change in new listings for Sydney

Biggest increase (YoY)

  • Narrabeen – 96 per cent
  • Box Hill – 87 per cent
  • Mona Vale – 82 per cent
  • Clovelly – 76 per cent
  • Queenscliff – 73 per cent

Biggest decrease (YoY)

  • Homebush – 65 per cent
  • Forest Lodge – 65 per cent
  • Rhodes – 63 per cent
  • Leumeah – 58 per cent
  • Kingsford – 57 per cent


Melbourne’s new rental listings fell by 16.9 per cent in August, while regional Victoria picked up steam with a 5 per cent month-on-month rise.

In particular, Mr Kusher noted the Mornington Peninsula was struggling with low supply, with many renters not able to find available properties in the region.

Melbourne’s Inner and Inner East saw the most significant monthly falls, with declines of 24.8 per cent and 16.8 per cent respectively.

Comparatively, Melbourne’s West and North West saw the smallest monthly fall, at 7 per cent and 7.9 per cent respectively.

Total rental listings in Melbourne fell 6.7 per cent in August, reaching the lowest volume since August last year.

Regional Victoria’s total listings increased by 2.6 per cent over the month.

Change in new listings for Melbourne

Biggest increase (YoY)

  • Surrey Hills – 217 per cent
  • Mentone – 217 per cent
  • Mooroolbark – 210 per cent
  • Ferntree Gully – 192 per cent
  • Bayswater – 183 per cent

Biggest decrease (YoY)

  • Hastings – 41 per cent
  • Carlton – 25 per cent
  • Notting Hill – 25 per cent
  • Docklands – 25 per cent
  • Lyndhurst – 23 per cent


Mr Kusher suggested renters in Brisbane will be faced with tough conditions for some time.

The number of new rental properties listed in August declined 3.7 per cent. Year-on-year new rental listings dropped 6.4 per cent.

Regional Queensland was no different, with a 1.3 per cent drop in new listings over the month and a 6.9 per cent decline YoY.

Brisbane recorded a 0.9 per cent monthly fall in total listings over the month, while regional Queensland saw a decline of 0.6 per cent. Queensland is close to record low volumes.

Moreton-Bay South and East Brisbane had the smallest share of rental properties in August, with 4.6 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively.

Brisbane’s Inner City and South Brisbane had more to offer, at 31.8 per cent and 16.3 per cent respectively.

Change in new listings for Brisbane

Biggest increase (YoY)

  • Ripley – 108 per cent
  • Fitzgibbon – 105 per cent
  • Waterford – 92 per cent
  • Woody Point – 86 per cent
  • Geebung – 80 per cent

Biggest decrease (YoY)

  • Petrie – 50 per cent
  • East Brisbane – 48 per cent
  • Corinda – 47 per cent
  • Sunnybank – 47 per cent
  • Zillmere – 47 per cent

South Australia

After experiencing a snap lockdown in July, Adelaide’s rental market looked positive overall with a 5.4 per cent monthly increase in new rental listings.

Supply in regional South Australia also improved over the past month, with new listings increasing by 22.4 per cent.

The growth in new listings across suburbs like West Adelaide (24 per cent) offered renters more choice. Central and Hills also saw significant growth at 8.1 per cent.

South Adelaide was the only region where new rental listings declined over the month, seeing a fall of 8.6 per cent.

The total number of rental listings in August increase by 3 per cent in Adelaide. Regional South Australia saw a 6.5 per cent rise month-on-month.

Changes in new listings in Adelaide

Biggest increase (YoY)

  • Campbelltown – 209 per cent
  • Findon – 120 per cent
  • Warradale – 100 per cent
  • Andrews Farm – 57 per cent
  • Torrensville – 55 per cent

Biggest decrease (YoY)

  • Salisbury North – 43 per cent
  • Mount Barker – 32 per cent
  • North Adelaide – 30 per cent
  • Bowden – 29 per cent
  • Parkside – 28 per cent

Western Australia

In August, Perth reached its lowest volume since February 2021, falling 2.2 per cent month-on-month.

New listings fell to record lows in regional Western Australia, with a 8.9 per cent month-on-month fall.

Perth’s supply of rental stock continued to tighten with a 4.3 per cent monthly decline in total rental listings. Regionally, listings were historically low after a 8.8 per cent monthly decline.

Mandurah had the lowest supply of rental stock (4.1 per cent) while the South East had the most rental properties available in the city (24.9 per cent).

Changes in new listings in Perth

Biggest increase (YoY)

  • Bicton – 100 per cent
  • Atwell – 91 per cent
  • Bayswater – 89 per cent
  • Leederville 85 per cent
  • Halls Head – 60 per cent

Biggest decrease (YoY)

  • High Wycombe – 52 per cent
  • Tuart Hill – 48 per cent
  • Kelmscott – 46 per cent
  • Queens Park – 45 per cent
  • Canning Vale – 43 per cent


Demand for rental properties across the state far exceed available supply.

Hobart’s rental market was under noticeable pressure in August with a 9.8 per cent fall in new rental listings. Similar to Western Australia, this was the largest monthly fall since February 2021.

Regional Tasmania didn’t fare any better over the month, falling by 11.7 per cent. This was the fewest new listings for the region on record.

In Hobart, total rental listings in August fell by 3.2 per cent month-on-month. However, it was still 4.3 per cent higher than a year ago.

Regionally, a 13.6 per cent monthly fall in total listings marketed another historic low.

Changes in new listings for Hobart

Biggest increase (YoY)

  • Glenorchy – 60 per cent
  • Lenah Valley – 0 per cent

Biggest decrease (YoY)

  • South Hobart – 29 per cent
  • Sandy Bay – 16 per cent
  • Hobart – 13 per cent
  • Kingston – 9 per cent
  • Battery Point – 8 per cent

Northern Territory

New rental listings fell by 1.1 per cent month-on-month in Darwin, as the city faced a snap lockdown in August.

New listings remained 5.7 per per cent higher YoY.

While rental listing volumes are low and volatile in regional Northern Territory, they were 42.1 per cent higher month-on-month in August and 47.3 per cent higher year-on-year.

Darwin’s total rental listings increased by 7.9 last month to reach their highest volume since March 2021.

Regional Northern Territory experienced a 28.6 per cent monthly increase in total rental listings, yet they were 34.6 per cent lower year-on-year.

Changing in new listings for Darwin

Biggest increase (YoY)

  • Durack – 54 per cent
  • Muirhead – 40 per cent
  • Zuccoli – 40 per cent
  • Parap – 39 per cnet
  • Fannie Bay – 20 per cent

Biggest decrease (YoY)

  • Rosebery – 14 per cent
  • Darwin City – 14 per cent
  • Stuart Park – 4 per cent

Australian Capital Territory

Mr Kusher noted the impact of Canberra’s lockdown was significantly evident in the capital city’s rental market.

New rental listings saw a 29.9 per cent decline in August, falling to its lowest monthly volume on record.

Total rental listings followed a similar downward trend, falling by 18.3 per cent month-on-month.

Change in new listings in Canberra

Biggest increase (YoY)

  • Campbell – 74 per cent
  • O’Connor – 30 per cent
  • Belconnen – 11 per cent
  • Kingston – 3 per cent
  • Casey – 0 per cent

Biggest decrease (YoY)

  • Lyneham – 62 per cent
  • Franklin – 55 per cent
  • Greenway – 50 per cent
  • Turner – 30 per cent
  • Griffith – 26 per cent

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