Units in Brisbane are now more expensive to rent than those in Melbourne, according to the latest quarterly report from Domain.

Over the December quarter, unit rents in Brisbane increased by 1.3% to $400. For the first time in five years, Brisbane unit rents have surpassed those in Melbourne, where rents declined by 3% to $388.

The increase in Brisbane rents came even with the relatively weakened demand for inner-city apartments due to the absence of overseas migrants and tourists.

House rents in Brisbane also reached a new record high, increasing by 2.4% to $425. The two consecutive quarterly gains have resulted in the steepest annual increase in seven years for houses.

Overall, demand for rental dwellings in Brisbane remained strong, driven by a relocation to Brisbane amid COVID-19 and the resumption of local and interstate short-term travel. This could potentially tighten the city's vacancy rate and push rents up even further in the coming months.

"A rebounding jobs market and lifestyle locations will continue to see accelerated demand, factors that are likely to drive significant rent rises," the report said.