A new report highlights Australia’s dire rental situation, with the number of affordable rental properties halved since the pandemic began.
The PropTrack Market Insight report found that the share of properties renting for less than $400 a week has fallen from 41.8 percent at the start of the pandemic to just 19.3 percent this month.
The report analyzed the number of rental properties being advertised on realestate.com.au and concluded that there is an alarming rental shortage across the country.
The data showed that the number of properties available to rent for less than $400 a week fell to an all-time low, according to report author Cameron Kusher.
“There is excess demand for rental housing and far from enough supply in the market at the moment,” said PropTrack’s director of economic research.
“This has resulted in a record low number of listings for less than $400 per week.”
It is not surprising that renting in capital cities turned out to be more difficult than in regional ones.
The number of homes available to rent for less than $400 a week has more than halved from pre-pandemic levels in the nation’s capitals.
Only 16.4 percent of listings were for less than $400 a week, and no capital city had more than a quarter of affordable rentals.
The rental crisis is most severe in the ACT, Hobart and Darwin, where less than 10 per cent of listings are for less than $400 a week.
In Sydney, the number of affordable rental properties has halved in just one year.
In regional areas, rental listings under $400 have also halved since the pandemic began.
“It’s quite clear that we have serious problems in the rental market at the moment,” Mr Kusher said.
“In particular, it will be increasingly difficult for people on lower incomes to find rental housing because the supply of relatively cheaper housing has fallen significantly.
“There are no signs that this is going to end anytime soon.”
According to the director of economic research, all indications are that cheaper rental listings will become more scarce before the situation begins to improve.
Competition for the dwindling supply of cheaper rentals is intensifying due to rising migration and low levels of first-time home buying.
Unfortunately for renters, none of the issues plaguing the rental supply can be fixed quickly.
“It’s not good news for anyone looking to rent,” Mr Kusher said.