As house prices continue to rise, people in the rental market are looking at home ownership as a fast-fading dream.
Australian house prices remain among the highest in the world, with price-to-income ratios close to all-time highs. People who rent spend an average of 20 per cent of their wages on their housing, and they are the lucky ones. Some people are paying much more than that.
Renting peaked in the post war period of 1947 at 44 per cent, but it is on the rise again as a boom in housing costs pushes many young people out of the market.
At the same time, the number of private housing investors has risen from 1.3 million in the 1990s to more than 1.8 million in 2010-11. With negative gearing, these investors are claiming almost $8 billion in renal losses on their income tax.
The most expensive rental market in Australia is Darwin.
But within these figures there’s a catch for landlords and a bonus for tenants. RP Data’s Tim Lawless said gross rental return has been falling since June last year, when housing prices began to rise again.
While capital city home values are up 12.5 per cent since May last year, weekly rents have increased by just 1.8 per cent.
“Melbourne and Sydney are showing the lowest gross yields of any capital city at just 3.3 per cent and 3.8 per cent gross respectively,” Mr Lawless said.
But the state of the rental market varies significantly between capital cities. The New Daily has compared rents for properties of about $500 per week which, which, according to Australian Property Monitors, is the median weekly rent for Sydney houses, at $485.
The most expensive rental market in Australia is Darwin. The median rent there is $700 for houses and $570 for units. The cheapest mainland state to rent per week is Adelaide at $350 for houses and units at $285.
So, what can you get for $500 a week?
Sydney metropolitan area median rent house: $500, unit: $485
This fully-furnished studio apartment in Sydney couldn’t be in a better location, with views of Hyde Park, and a serviced building including rooftop pool, but it comes with a big sacrifice in space.
Perfect location, lovely building with gym and the studio apartment comes fully furnished with fridge and microwave – but there’s no kitchen, not even an oven or stove top.
Melbourne metropolitan area median rent house: $375, unit: $350
1402/270 King Street
Two bedroom, one bathroom, one carpark
This apartment has a modern kitchen with open plan living area and an outdoor balcony in Melbourne’s CBD.
With 45 sqm of living space and an open plan kitchen this new apartment building also has an indoor heated pool, gym and outside bbq area.
Adelaide metropolitan area median rent house: $350, unit: $285
This modern townhouse in the centre of Adelaide has a large living and dining area, outdoor courtyard, a second living area and air-conditioning.
Brisbane metropolitan area median rent house: $400, unit: $375
This brand new apartment has never been lived in. Building amenities include a rooftop pool and outdoor bbq area.
Perth metropolitan area median rent house: $480, unit: $400
In an excellent location on the fringe of Perth’s CBD, this apartment features a good size lounge and kitchen with small balcony.
Darwin metropolitan area median rent house: $700, unit: $570
While not glamorous, this two bedroom apartment is fully air-conditioned, in central Darwin and provides secure lock-up for your cars.
Canberra metropolitan area median rent house: $460, unit: $410
In the heart of Canberra this fully furnished apartment is in the Glebe Apartment Residences which feature a pool, gym and outdoor entertaining area.
– with Mustafa Nuristani