|1 Jun 2021|
The cost of renting property in Australia’s regions jumped by almost three times as much as the capital city markets over the past year, with renewed domestic tourism potentially a factor in pushing up prices, new data shows.
CoreLogic’s latest report revealed rent estimates for all regional properties surged by 9.6 per cent in the 12 months to April compared with 3.3 per cent in capital cities.
The group’s Eliza Owen described the price growth as remarkable and the tightening of regional rental markets as “extraordinary”, with listings in the 25 regions CoreLogic analysed halving over the period on average.
The average time a rental property spent on the market in these regions contracted from 25 days in the three months to April to 17 days in the month of April.
The strongest regional markets included the Richmond-Tweed area in NSW, where the year-on-year median asking weekly rent spiked 17.6 per cent to $590, and Central Queensland and the Sunshine Coast, where the jump was respectively 15.3 per cent to $340 and 15 per cent to $550.
The most expensive asking rents were in the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven areas of NSW at $620, up 13.2 per cent.
“The data suggests that tenants are having to compete harder for rental accommodation in major regional centres, both in terms of their wallet and the pace of their decision making,” Ms Owen said.
“More severe consequences of the recent tightening in rental markets include housing stress and homelessness.”
Ms Owen said the “sea and tree change” exodus of people escaping the cities in the September and December quarters was potentially skewed to higher-income workers given remote work tended to be concentrated in the “knowledge economy”, which would put further upward pressure on property sales and rent prices.
But over the whole of calendar 2020, there was actually less migration to regional Australia from cities (233,122 people) than in the previous year (233,779 people).
Ms Owen speculated a trend that could have recently tightened the regional rental market was the reconversion of short-term rental accommodation that had anecdotally been turned into long-term rentals at the onset of the pandemic when travel and tourism abruptly ceased.
“With domestic travel restrictions eased, such properties are likely to have been reconverted to the short-term rental market,” she said.
The data also showed combined regional dwelling sales prices grew at 13 per cent in the 12 months to April, dwarfing rises of 6.4 per cent in the capital cities.
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