INDUSTRY NEWSNationalReal Estate News

WA and QLD renters under extreme pressure

Life is not getting easier for renters, with new data showing tenants in Western Australia and Queensland are experiencing the worst rental conditions in the country.

According to Suburbtrends Rental Pain Index for April 2024, 85.63 per cent of suburb areas in QLD are in extreme rental pain, along with 85.01 per cent in WA.

WA has also experienced the sharpest increase in rents, up 15.66 per cent in the past 12 months, pushing many households to spend more than 30 per cent of their income on rent. 

Queensland wasn’t far behind WA, with a 10.22 per cent increase in rents in the past year.

In NSW, renters are also stretched thin, with a 10.38 per cent increase in rents and more than 30 per cent of tenants income going towards rent.

Even places that experienced smaller rent hikes, like the ACT and NT, renters still spend a substantial portion of their income on housing.

Suburbtrends Founder, Kent Lardner, said rental stress wasn’t just sticking around, but getting worse.

“Western Australia and Queensland are feeling the heat the most, with rental costs eating up a big chunk of many people’s incomes,” Mr Lardner said.

“We’re at a point where action is needed more than ever.”

Mr Lardner said the rental situation was beyond crisis levels.

“This isn’t just about numbers; it’s about people struggling to keep a roof over their heads,” he said.

“Especially younger Australians are finding it tougher to find affordable homes, squeezed out by the tight market and high prices.”

Source: Suburbtrends

Despite conditions worsening in most areas, South Australia showed a modest improvement, with the percentage of suburb areas experiencing severe rental stress decreasing to 73.25 per cent, down from 78.36 per cent. 

Tasmania and the Northern Territory saw slight increases in extreme rental stress, at 29.03 per cent and 27.66 per cent.

The Australian Capital Territory saw a notable uptick to 10.2 per cent, from 5.26 per cent, suggesting conditions remained tough for tenants.

Stress remains high in Victoria and NSW with levels rising to 75.35 per cent and 73.06 per cent in the major capital cities.

While on a national scale, the percentage of suburb areas in severe rental stress climbed to 72.18 per cent, up from 70.06 per cent last month.

“We urgently need innovative solutions to alleviate the rental crisis in Australia,” Mr Lardner said.

“Mobile home villages and prefabricated small homes represent immediate and practical options to expand our housing supply as quickly as possible. 

“By embracing these methods, we can avoid the dire scenario of Australians being forced into living in cars or tents. 

“It’s crucial we act swiftly to ensure accessible and affordable housing for all.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.