Rental stress intensifies in three biggest states


Rental stress continues to intensify across some local electorates in eastern seaboard states as both dwelling prices and rents remained on the uptrend.

According to the latest heatmap by Everybody’s Home, renters in Australia’s three largest state capitals — Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane — have the highest proportion of rental stress between 40% and 70%.

The electorates that have the highest level of rental stress in each state are MacArthur (New South Wales, 76.5%), Bowman (Queensland, 59.8%), and Bruce (Victoria, 64%).

Electorates with the highest share of households in rental stress



Macarthur – 76.5%

Chifley – 73.6%

Mitchell – 73.0%

Barton – 70.5%

Robertson – 70.0%

Bowman – 59.8%

Forde – 57.8%

Wright – 57.0%

Petrie – 53.5%

Oxley – 52.9% 

Bruce – 64%

Calwell – 63.3%

Holt – 63.1%

Lalor – 62.9%

McEwen – 61.5%

Regional electorates are also feeling the rental squeeze, with more than 60% of renters in Robertson, Dobell, Gilmore, Lyne, Cowper, and Page living in rental stress.

Rental stress is also felt in Victoria’s Geelong.

SQM Research’s recent report said rental markets across Australia are already in crisis, as vacancies continued to tread lower while rents skyrocket.

Everybody’s Home spokesperson Kate Colvin said this data showed the need for investment in social housing, especially as incomes remain stagnant compared to rental and housing costs.

“This is no longer an issue which impacts only those on modest incomes or those living in the major cities — middle-income Australians can’t keep up with rent and mortgage payments while regional communities are also experiencing housing crises never seen before,” she said.

Ms Colvin said there is also a need for a commitment from the federal government through Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to include social housing in the upcoming budget.

“Investing in social housing is more than just proving everyone a place to call home, it will also provide our economy with a significant economic boost,” she said.

“Building just 25,000 social and affordable homes per year would generate annual economic output of $12.7bn and create 15,700 jobs.”

Evolving tenant needs and behaviours

A recent study by Equifax showed how the changing behaviours and needs of tenants have affected property managers.

Issues related to financial and legal impacts are the most prevalent concerns that impacted property managers over the past year, with more than a third of tenants wanting to terminate their leases early while a quarter refusing to pay rent.

Meanwhile, the prolonged lockdown across some of the most impacted states created some unique tenant management issues.

Loss of income and higher rental applications relative to available properties were two of the most common issues over the past year.

Furthermore, there are some emerging issues resulting from the changing lifestyle of tenants as working from home because more common. For instance, more tenants are now adopting pets, racking up higher energy bills, and exploring subletting.

Equifax general manager Scott Mason said tenants have also become more comfortable with challenging rental agreement terms and exploring options.

“Tenants have become more knowledgeable about renters’ rights in their state and put forward more strata and maintenance requests to their landlords,” he said.

“Understanding how to manage these tenant requests alongside keeping up the high standard of tenant checks will help property managers to effectively navigate the evolving rental landscape and find the right tenants for their properties.”

Photo by @christnerfurt on Unsplash

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