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Brisbane a 'landlord's market' as rents hit record high after fastest rise in 15 years

Posted on 22 April 2024

Source:  Domain

The rise makes Brisbane the second most expensive capital in Australia to rent a unit at $590 per week as of the March quarter – yet five years ago the city was the fourth most affordable. The priciest capital remains Sydney, where median weekly unit rents are $700.

The figures, released today in the latest Domain Rent Report, revealed it’s the 11th consecutive quarter of growth for Brisbane unit rents and the steepest in about 15 years as the city battles a property drought and affordability concerns.

Brisbane unit rents are now 5.4 per cent higher than three months ago but 18 per cent higher than the same time last year.

The report showed house rents also climbed to a record high of $620 per week over the same period with weekly asking rents up 3.3 per cent – or $20.

There are now 18 suburbs across Queensland with a median weekly asking house rent of $1000 per week or more, with Ascot and Hawthorne the first two Brisbane suburbs to make the list this year.

Experts say the price hikes reveal more than just a seasonal uptick, but the extent of Brisbane’s rental crisis.

“It has been a landlord’s market for two years there,” said Domain chief of research and economics Dr Nicola Powell.

“But what’s interesting is that we saw a re-acceleration of rental growth over the March quarter, which is not only double compared to the December but also to last year’s March quarter,” she said.

“And while this is not the lowest gap between house and unit rents (it was only a $15 difference in 2020) that gap expanded to a peak of $91 in 2022 to only narrow again and this tells us affordability is steering demand towards units.”

There are few rental properties available and the rental vacancy rate is now 0.7 per cent – only 0.1 per cent off a record low in February last year.

“It has remained stubbornly low for two years and it has been below one per cent since 2022. That’s alarming considering a balanced rental market is when the vacancy rate sits between 2 and 3 per cent,” she said.

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