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Suburbtrends Rental Rewind

Suburbtrends Rental Rewind

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Suburbtrends Rental Rewind: 3 Years of Vanishing Affordable Rentals


Suburbtrends Rental Rewind: 3 Years of Vanishing Affordable Rentals

Suburbtrends Rental Rewind: 3 Years of Vanishing Affordable Rentals

Market Analysis Overview

The updated analysis of rental market trends from March 2021 to March 2024 across both Greater Capital City Areas (GCCA) and regional areas reveals a significant reduction in the availability of rentals priced at $400 per week or less, which holds profound implications for housing affordability and broader socio-economic dynamics.

Urban Impact

In major urban centres like Sydney, where affordable rentals under $400 have drastically fallen from 21% in 2021 to 3% in 2024, the trend is stark. Melbourne and Perth have similarly seen dramatic decreases, with affordable rentals dropping from 43% to 6%, and 40% to 2%, respectively. This pattern is consistent across other major cities and regional areas, indicating a widespread escalation in rental costs.

Economic Considerations

This contraction in affordable rental options is especially significant given that a household earning a modest income of $70,000 per year, which is typical for many Australians, would find rents above this threshold increasingly unaffordable. The standard affordability measure suggests that no more than 30% of household income should be spent on housing costs, making higher rents unsustainable for low-income earners.

Socio-Economic Consequences

The decline in affordable rentals is driving demographic shifts, as lower-income earners are pushed to either peripheral areas of cities or to regions with cheaper rents, affecting their access to employment opportunities and essential services. This migration poses challenges for urban planning and public transport systems, potentially leading to increased traffic congestion and higher commuting costs, which could negate any financial savings from lower rents.

Policy Implications

Moreover, the decreasing availability of low-cost rentals is likely to exacerbate social inequalities and contribute to a rise in housing insecurity and homelessness. It stresses the need for urgent policy interventions to increase the supply of affordable housing. While construction costs and standards contribute to higher rental prices, innovative solutions such as subsidies, tax incentives for low-cost housing developments, and revisions in planning regulations may be necessary to address the affordability crisis.


In summary, the significant reduction in rentals priced at $400 or less is a critical issue that affects the economic wellbeing and quality of life for a considerable segment of the population. This trend underscores the need for comprehensive strategies that balance immediate relief for those most affected with long-term solutions to ensure sustainable affordability in the housing market.

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