Share of sub-$400 per week properties falls sharply

The number of rental listings asking for $400 per week or less on has nearly halved in the past year, new data shows.

The share of total rental properties listed for under this figure was down to 17.6 per cent in February, its lowest level since late 2018.

That’s down from the 32.8 per cent of listings that were available a year ago.

The share of houses for rent under $400 per week has fallen from 25.2 per cent to 13.6 per cent, while for units it has dropped from 38.6 per cent to 22.1 per cent.

The reduction has been felt most keenly in capital cities and regional WA, the number of sub-$400 listings having halved there, PropTrack Director Economic Research Cameron Kusher said.

“Demand for rentals is far outstripping supply, pushing weekly rents higher and the vacancy rate lower,” Mr Kusher said.

“As a result, there has been a significant reduction in rentals available for less than $400 per week since the onset of the pandemic.”

While regional areas had experienced a significant reduction in cheaper rentals during the pandemic, demand was now shifting back to the cities.

“We are now starting to see much larger declines in the share of listings under $400 per week in capital
cities as opposed to regional areas. Houses are also seeing the share decline faster than units.”

The ACT has the fewest sub-$400 properties available, with these properties making up just 1.9 per cent (down from 6 per cent a year ago) of the pool.

It was followed by Sydney (7.8 per cent, down from 19.8 per cent), Darwin (8.8 per cent, down from 15.7 per cent), Hobart (12 per cent, down from 20.3 per cent), Brisbane (13 per cent, down from 28.3 per cent), Perth (15.4 per cent, down from 32 per cent), Adelaide (18.3 per cent, down from 37.8 per cent), and Melbourne (20 per cent, down from 43.5 per cent).

The situation is unlikely to improve in the short to medium-term, Mr Kusher said.

“With demand for rentals intensifying, we see no reprieve for tenants in the coming months,” he said.

“The fall in the availability of more affordable rentals and the surging competition for rental stock is creating challenges for those on lower incomes or government support payments as they try to source increasingly scarce rental accommodation.”

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