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Regional NSW and QLD desperate for more rental stock

Several regional areas across NSW and QLD are facing a dramatic undersupply of rental properties as falling vacancy rates and rising rents put pressure on low-income earners.

According to new data from RentRabbit.com.au, Banora Point, located in the Northern Rivers region of NSW in Tweed Shire, is the area most in need of rental stock with a vacancy rate of just 0.3 per cent.

Rents in Banora Point have risen 13 per cent in just 12 months, with tenants spending 64 per cent of their average weekly income on rent, which is the highest in the country.

Other regional areas struggling to keep up with rental demand and where tenants are using a huge portion of their income on rent include Tweed Heads South (62 per cent), Nambucca Heads (61 per cent) and Ulladulla (61 per cent) in NSW, along with Coombabah (62 per cent) and Cooroy (61 per cent) in QLD.

RentRabbit.com.au Co-founder Ben Pretty said a lack of rental properties was impacting low-income areas in regional Australia the most.

“There are many suburbs across Australia where vacancy rates are very low and tenants are struggling to find somewhere to live,” Mr Pretty said.

“For affluent tenants in more privileged suburbs, they at least have more options in terms of where they can live, especially as many of them are knowledge workers who can work remotely.

“For the many tenants who have low household incomes and who live in socio-economically disadvantaged areas, they’re really struggling right now and have very few options.”

The analysis ranked suburbs based on their median weekly rent expressed as a share of their average weekly household income.

Tenants struggled the most in areas with low vacancy rates, low average weekly household incomes and a below-average socio-economic status.

In NSW there were 11 suburbs desperate for more rental stock, followed by Queensland (4), Tasmania (3), Western Australia (1) and South Australia (1).

Mr Pretty said the rental crisis was one of the biggest issues facing the new Federal Government.

“We hope the Albanese government can work with the states and territories to find a way to increase the level of rental supply and solve this problem, although we recognise there are no easy answers,” he said.

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.