Rents hit first annual drop

By Gerv Tacadena | 29 Oct 2020

Inflation figures reveal the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the rental market, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA).

The latest report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed that the consumer price index (CPI) for housing dropped by 0.2% over the year to September quarter, driven by the decline in rents.

"Rents fell in most capital cities due to continued weak rental market conditions and high vacancy rates arising from COVID-19. Rents recorded the first annual fall in the history of the series," the ABS report said.

Rents decreased in all capital cities except Canberra, where rents increased slightly by 0.2%.

The largest drop was 0.7% in Darwin and the smallest was 0.1% in Brisbane, giving a weighted capital city fall of 0.2% for the quarter and a fall of 1.4% for the year.

"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," said Adrian Kelly, president of REIA. “This is the first annual fall in the history of the series when ABS started the series in September 1973.”

Kelly said this could indicate the need for the government to extend its rental assistance programs beyond December this year.

A recent survey by showed that while 40% of renters are now finding it easier to manage their lease payments, 24% remained unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the survey showed that only 11% are optimistic about life post-pandemic.

"There are a bunch of external factors that are leaving renters with a general feeling of less control than they would like. Factors like unemployment, uncertainty, changing rules on JobKeeper and JobSeeker, and restrictions are all playing a role," said Greg Bader, CEO of

Top Suburbs : penrith , newcastle , westbrook , emerald , newtown


Get help with your investment property

Do you need help finding the right loan for your investment?

When investing in property, it is important to make sure that you not only have the lowest available rate that you can get, but also have the correct loan features for your needs.

Just fill in a few details below and we'll then arrange for a local mortgage broker to contact you and work out what features or types of loans are right for your needs. We'll even help with the paperwork. Plus an appointment is free.

How soon would you like a mortgage?
What is your Annual Household Income i $
Do you currently own any Investment Properties?
Do you own your own residence?
How much equity do you have in all your current properties?
First Name
Last Name
Where do you live?
What number can we reach you on?
E-mail address
We value your privacy and treat all your information seriously - you can check out our privacy policy here