The cost to rent in Australia is still falling

Mandatory Credit: Craig Prentis /Allsport

The cost to rent in Australia continues to fall, according to new data released by CoreLogic.

In the group’s latest rent review, released monthly, average rental rates fell by 0.3% across Australia’s capital cities in August, leaving the decline on a year earlier at 0.5%.

The decline registered in August was identical to that seen in July.

In dollar terms, the average weekly rent now stands at $481, the lowest level seem since November 2014. From the record high of May last year, the average rent has fallen by 1.4%.

By type of dwelling, the average combined capital city house rent now stands at $484 per week, slightly ahead of units at $466 per week.

Over the past year housing rents have fallen by 0.8%, while those for units have increased by 0.7%. Both sit at record lows.

Source: CoreLogic

The annual fall in the headline index reflects the fact that there are currently more houses than units available for rent in Australia.

This table from CoreLogic shows the change in rents seen across individual capitals over the past month, quarter and year. It also shows current rental yields, comparing them to the levels of a year earlier. Like the annual change in rents, they too sit at record lows.

Though combined capital city rents have fallen over the past year, it’s clearly not uniform in nature.

“Melbourne, Hobart and Canberra have each recorded stronger rental growth over the past year compared to the previous year,” notes CoreLogic. “At the same time, we are experiencing the weakest annual changes in rents on record in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.”

To Cameron Kusher, research analyst at CoreLogic, the weakness seen over the past year looks set to continue for some time yet.

“As long as wages growth continues to stagnate, coupled with historically high levels of new dwelling construction and slowing population growth, landlords won’t have much scope to increase rents,” says Kusher.

“On the flipside, renters are now in a much better position to negotiate,” he adds.

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