Canberra has overtaken Sydney as the most expensive place to rent a house, for the first time in 11 years, according to new Domain data.
Sydney’s median house rent fell to $540 at the end of 2018, while Canberra’s increased to $560 (see tables below).
Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said Sydney house rents were now at 2016 levels after their first annual decline in more than 12 years.
“Unit rents are also declining, and for the first time since Domain rental records began in 2004 have fallen for two consecutive quarters,” she said.
“The cost of renting a unit has now returned to 2017 levels.“
Dr Powell said the reduced demand for Sydney rental properties had been driven by an increase in supply.
“We expect rental supply to increase further in 2019, putting tenants in the driver’s seat,” she said.
“Tenants will find greater bargaining power as rising supply keeps pressure on rents, providing strong grounds to negotiate lease terms.”
Meanwhile, Dr Powell said the increased demand for Canberra rental properties was partly due to competition from interstate and overseas migrants.
“House rental listings have been shrinking for three years and unit listings have declined for just over a year on an annual basis,” she said.
“This has resulted in a five-year low of advertised rentals for a December quarter, a concerning scenario given we’ve now entered the peak rental period.
“An influx of university students and government professionals due to commence study and jobs in early 2019 is likely to place additional pressure on the rental market.”
Median weekly rent – houses
Median weekly rent – units