November 14, 2023
Regional Queensland is now the least affordable place in Australia to rent a home.
The ninth annual National Shelter-SGS Economics and Planning Rental Affordability index shows median rentals in regional Queensland are $553 a week ie. 30 per cent of average income.
The data also shows affordability has worsened in every city except Hobart and Canberra and has deteriorated rapidly in Sydney (by 13 per cent), Melbourne and Perth (both by 10 per cent).
Only Melbourne and the ACT have what are considered acceptable rents for average income households.
Affordability in the regions has also declined everywhere except Tasmania with falls of between 7 and 9 per cent in regional Queensland, regional South Australia and regional Western Australia.
“Unaffordability has spread from the cities to well into the regions,” SGS Economics & Planning principal Ellen Witte said.
“Households will have to live further away from where the jobs are to access affordable rents, and businesses are struggling to find workers.
“This downward spiral has now reached the point where very few affordable long-term rentals are on offer.
“We need to attack this problem from multiple angles. This means rapidly expanding social and affordable housing, rethinking how we use tax subsidies and strengthening renters’ rights.”
National Shelter CEO Emma Greenhalgh said rental affordability in Australia was going from bad to worse.
“In the past year renters have been smashed with enormous rent hikes well beyond income growth,” she said.
“With vacancy rates so incredibly low, landlords have been able to pass on interest rate rises to tenants – and the pressure is only set to increase following last week’s rate rise.
“More households in our cities and our regions are in rental stress and many areas are the most unaffordable they have ever been.
“Governments must urgently address this worsening affordability crisis, including by building more homes and better regulating renting.”
Greater Brisbane, regional Queensland, regional Victoria and regional NSW posted their lowest affordability levels since 2012, with average households needing to spend between 27 and 30 per cent of their income for a median property in those areas.
The Index was developed in partnership with the Beyond Bank Australia Foundation.