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Rental crisis continues: available rental properties fall further in April


Australia has seen its biggest drop in available rental housing in years as the market continues to tighten.

The number of new rental homes across the country fell 18.9 percent in April, with Sydney, Melbourne and Perth experiencing some of the country’s harshest conditions.

Sydney’s new listings fell 17 percent in April and 5.1 percent over the past year, while Melbourne fell 20.8 percent over the past month and 17.9 percent over the past year, according to PropTrack.

The country’s two largest cities are also plagued by low vacancy rates, with Sydney at 1.4 percent in April and Melbourne at 1.2 percent, according to SQM.

The biggest declines were in Perth and Darwin, where April’s quotes were ravaged by as much as 22.2 percent and 25.8 percent.

While there was an increase in rental supply in some markets, such as Hobart and Canberra, it was nowhere near enough to halt the shrinking number of homes available, according to PropTrack Research Director Cameron Kusher.

“There was little relief for renter hopefuls in April, with new advertising recording the biggest monthly drop since 2017,” he said.

“The larger capitals are seeing supply tightening, creating incredibly difficult conditions.

“However, pressure is beginning to ease in regional areas and smaller capitals as pandemic-induced trends begin to reverse.”

The differences between the countries are “marked” according to Mr. Kusher, with the total number of rental properties being 20.8 percent higher in the regional markets and 16.5 percent lower in the capitals.

Brisbane and Adelaide are not far behind their larger counterparts in terms of quotes falling by 18.0 percent and 19.8 percent respectively.

Mr Kusher warns that the situation will only get worse if nothing is done to increase the supply of real estate.

“Without a looming increase in supply, the stock of rental housing will remain low, exacerbating the current competitive conditions for tenants,” he said.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.