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Rental markets across the country

By Catherine Rayward

Housing affordability isn’t only limited to the prices of houses for sale – it’s very much related to the cost of rent too. If the proportion of your pay being taken up to provide shelter for your family is too large, you’re under housing stress, whether you’re a renter or an owner-occupier. Thankfully, there are many spots around the country where it’s still very affordable to rent (or even buy!) a property.

Nationally speaking

First, let’s look at the figures across the board. On a national scale, rent prices have actually decreased over the past 12 months, according to SQM Research. The median weekly asking price for the week ending 28 May was $409 across the country for a house and $336 for a unit. That’s a drop of 0.2 per cent for free standing properties over the year, and 1.5 per cent for attached dwellings.

However, when looking at the capital cities, unit prices haven’t changed in that 12 month period, sitting at $417, while houses have shot up 1.1 per cent to $536.

It’s worthwhile noting that while the rental market is flat compared to a year ago, there has been a large amount of growth in the last quarter – indicating that there was a gradual decline in the later half of 2014.

“Given the softer conditions recorded across the capital city rental market towards the end of 2014, rental growth over the first quarter of 2015 has been relatively strong at a capital city level,” said Cameron Kusher, research analyst at CoreLogic RP Data in a 9 April release.

However, renters shouldn’t despair at recent trends, as Mr Kusher notes that affordable increases in rent are expected to be the norm for a while yet.

“With new housing supply increasing and investor purchasing at record highs we have seen a significant slowdown in the rate of rental growth over the past couple of years and we expect this trend to continue over the coming year.”

According to the figures from CoreLogic RP Data, Darwin was the only capital to record a decrease in the cost of renting a unit – which is not surprising as it is the most expensive a capital city market for apartments and similar dwellings.

If you’re out looking for rental properties and would like to know which areas are more affordable, make sure to stop into your local Ray White office and talk to a letting specialist.

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