It remains a struggle for renters to look for a home that fits their budget as the share of affordable rentals continues to decline.

According to PropTrack, the share of properties renting for $400 per week fell to 16.2% in April, the lowest on record. During the same month last year, around a third of rental listings are under $400.

Over the month, national advertised rents increased 11% year-on-year, driven by the close-to-zero historic rates in most capital cities.

PropTrack senior economist Eleanor Creagh said rising demand boosted by the increase in immigration is outstripping the supply of available rental properties, resulting in rent increases.

“Since the pandemic onset, the share of rental listings under $400 per week has more than halved, with listings falling 82% since March 2020,” she said.

Interestingly, regional areas witnessed a more significant shrinking in the share of affordable rentals throughout the pandemic.

However, capital cities posted the largest decline in the share of $400-weekly rentals annually, from 58% to 11.9%.

Overall, the proportion of affordable rentals halved in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart, Darwin, the ACT and regional Western Australia over the past year, with pressure shifting from regional areas to capital cities.

ACT had the smallest share of affordable rentals at 1.8%. Meanwhile, Perth recorded the biggest decline from 59.4% in March 2020 to 8.17% in April.

“The nation’s rental market is in dire straits, with little sign of meaningful reprieve on the horizon,” Ms Creagh said.

“Strong migration, low vacancy rates and limited new supply mean tough conditions for renters are likely to remain, with the share of $400 per week rentals set to stay low.”


Photo by Andres Victorero on Canva.